It was mid-September when the world first heard of the possibility that the USFL and XFL may be planning to merge. Since then both leagues have put out a joint statement announcing their intent to combine.
Although the leagues are in talks to join forces, until the deal closes things are business as usual. As we’ve seen the USFL is signing players on a daily basis after becoming the first spring league in 40 years to make it to free agency. Similarly, the XFL is preparing to hold a draft sometime in November.
Generally, information is scarce during merger negotiations. That being said, it looks as if Ben Fischer (Sports Business Journal) may have some more insight on a few of the details.
Doesn't sound like merged XFL-USFL league has any interest in leaving broadcast TV.
“Broad distribution will be important for that merged league," –Larry Jones, former Fox Sports EVP and consultant on that deal.
During the Columbia Sports Management Conference, former FOX Sports EVP and Consultant on the merger deal had a few comments on the situation.
First, as expected, the merged spring football league is still planning to be carried on free OTA broadcast television.
Broad distribution will be important for that merged league,” -Larry Jones, former Fox Sports EVP and consultant on that deal
Jones also gives us a look at the future plans, stating that the merged league would be looking to sell teams to prospective owners in three to four years. This falls in-line with what we’ve heard of FOX’s plans with the USFL.
Lastly, Jones mentions that the league will be carried on FOX. This seems obvious as FOX currently owns the USFL. But, it does leave some open questions on if the league will be aired on any additional broadcast networks.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much else he could share due to a pending federal review on the deal.