USFL 2022 Schedule

Breaking Down USFL TV Ratings From Week Six

Week six in the USFL has come and gone, proving to be an entertaining weekend. The TV ratings have arrived, so let’s take a look at how the USFL fared this time around.

USFL TV Ratings From Week Six:

Memphis Showboats vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (USA): 227,000
Michigan Panthers vs. Birmingham Stallions (FOX): 732,000
Philadelphia Stars vs. New Orleans Breakers (FS1): 217,000
Houston Gamblers vs. New Jersey Generals (FOX): 630,000

It’s a mixed bag for the USFL this weekend. Two games were on cable networks, while the other two saw slots on OTA (FOX).

USFL TV Ratings Analysis

To begin with, let’s look at the cable TV ratings. Saturday afternoon’s matchup on USA Network notched only 227,000 viewers, which is par for the course for the channel. USA has struggled to generate viewership all season long, so this comes at no surprise.

An early start time on Saturday certainly plays a role. However, it’s unfortunate to see a game featuring a hub team (Memphis) score such a low rating.

FS1 has been quite inconsistent this season. Just a couple of weeks ago, it saw over 540k people tune in for Pittsburgh vs. Birmingham. This Sunday, Philadelphia vs. New Orleans garnered 217k, which is less than half. To be fair, NOLA & Philly are non-hub teams, so that plays a factor. In addition, a 12pm ET start time on Sunday isn’t ideal, either.

FOX continues to stay consistent, whether you like those numbers or not. With 732k on Saturday evening, and 630k on Sunday afternoon, it’s clear that FOX has found a zone that has stuck since week one. Birmingham’s matchup, once again, was the top rated game this weekend. While the TV Ratings for FOX aren’t bad by any means, there’s still plenty of room for improvement, as has been the case the entire season.

Cable has been a downfall for spring football across the board in 2023. Neither the XFL or USFL have generated incredible numbers on their respective cable networks (FS1, USA, FX, ESPN2).

USFL TV Ratings From Week Six, 2022:

Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Philadelphia Stars (NBC): 785,000
Birmingham Stallions vs. Michigan Panthers (NBC): 1.196M
Pittsburgh Maulers vs. New Orleans Breakers (FS1): 281,000
Houston Gamblers vs. New Jersey Generals (FOX): 665,000

NBC seems to be the strongest channel for the USFL, as their numbers have consistently been the best for the league since returning in 2022. Week six last year performed at a higher level, largely due to the pull that NBC has.

In addition, Saturday night’s matchup between Michigan and Birmingham a season ago had a solid lead-in from the Preakness, which certainly played a role in 1.1M people tuning in.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the USFL’s market has stayed in the same bracket. It hasn’t grown to the extent that some had hoped for in year two, but the numbers are relatively consistent across the board for each respective channel.

As long as FOX and NBC are pleased with the audience they’re seeing week in and week out, then the USFL will be just fine in that regard. That being said, it’d be a welcomed sight to see stronger numbers down the stretch – especially on cable.

Week seven will likely see a “dip”, as only one game will be featured on an OTA network.

What are your thoughts on the USFL TV Ratings from week six? Which games did you watch? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

  1. Hi,
    As long as the league is playing games in hub cities in front of empty stadiums you will continue to get the mediocre ratings you are getting. Season 2 of the USFL is exactly the same as Season 1. You are not progressing fast enough. To get big TV ratings you must do the following: 1) Until the teams are placed in their home city stadiums, which must be Season 3,
    give tickets away for free just to have crowds in the stadiums. An empty stadium is a terrible optic.
    2) Expand. Season 3 has to have more teams. The same group of teams is dull.
    Start with Tampa and Jacksonville. And a Western division by season 4. 3) This league needs at least a few players and coaches that the public has heard of. You have to lure some notable people to this league. Cam Newton or former NFL stars or players out of the NFL
    should be gone after. It’s important !! Pay them what you have to. It’s an investment.
    4) Uniforms. Most teams have a great, classic style. The exceptions are the two newest ones; Pittsburgh and Memphis. The colors are fine but the jersey design, with the different color shoulders looks minor league and is annoying to look at. Change those shirts to
    all one color. 5) Bring back old personalities from the original 1980’s USFL. Where are Doug Flutie and Hershel Walker and others. We need to see them, even if it’s just being
    interviewed at half time.
    The public wants the 1980’s USFL back. Go on Youtube and look at the 1984
    opening game between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions. A packed stadium, NFL players and well known coaches. When are we going to see that ? 20 years from now ? You are moving too slow. You want fans and ratings start doing things right.
    And I love the league. Hurts to see it not run properly.

  2. The cable games likely under performed by 50-80k each. The Sunday broadcastgame was going against great NE weather and while I was hoping for 700-750k the 632k they got was not unexpected.
    However with the NE having a crappy weather day Saturday the 732k FOX game was disappointing. Having the last hour overlap the Preakness should have been avoided.

    All that said… Cable was about 60k (avg below wk 6 2022). The daytime broadcast games were down 45k (on avg) and the big difference was 2022 had a primetime game that was on the stronger NBC and got 1196k.

    Ironically I have XFL and USFL at 652/653k thru 6 week respectively- how’s that for another sping league parallel!

    The bad and good coming up. Week 7 as you stated is on an summer (unofficial) holiday w/e, and only 1/4 games on broadcast. But weeks 8-Championship has only 3 cable, and includes 5-NBC with 2 primetime, 7-FOX with 3 primetime and should occur after NHL/NBA playoffs are wrapped up. Of course the TV football pie shrinks as we move deeper into spring and then summer.

    And how about those Stars!

  3. It’s no surprise to me that the games on the Fox networks perform better because they have imo the best presentation out of all of them. My girlfriend and I have watched every game every weekend since the beginning of the season and we vastly prefer the fox games. I’m also going to disagree with a previous commenter and say that if anything I would rather see LESS interviews not more. Just like the NFL you can only ask the same question so many different ways and hear the same answers before you just tune out. Instead I would like the presentation to focus more on listening in on play calls and especially the helmet cameras. Such a cool feature deserves to be used more than once or twice a broadcast.

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