USFL 2023 Championship Garners 1.15M Viewers On NBC

USFL 2023 Championship Garners 1.15M Viewers On NBC

The USFL 2023 Championship has come and gone, with another exciting season now in the books. This time, NBC broadcasted the Championship game.

NBC saw a respectable 1.157 million viewers for Saturday night’s outing between the Birmingham Stallions and the Pittsburgh Maulers. The game began at 8pm ET, in a primetime slot on the network.

The USFL Championship is just the second game to crack over one million in audience during the 2023 season. It’s the second highest rated matchup of the season, with the top three all featured on NBC in 2023. In week four, Michigan vs. Memphis attracted over two million viewers, due to the strong lead-in of the Kentucky Derby.

USFL Championship TV Ratings Analysis

There are a couple of factors to take into consideration. With NBC being an over-the-air network, it makes sense to see a stronger number in a primetime slot, at least compared to broadcasts on cable channels such as FS1 or USA.

While both NBC and FOX have typically hovered in the 600-900k range throughout the 2023 season, the playoffs performed well. Not surprisingly, the Championship notched well over one million viewers, being the most important game of the year.

Over the past two years, we have now seen three spring football Championship games. Each have performed well in their own regard:

2022 USFL Championship (FOX): 1.52M
2023 XFL Championship (ABC): 1.43M
2023 USFL Championship (NBC): 1.16M

While NBC’s number is lower, one has to take into account that their promotion of the Championship game was not nearly as aggressive as FOX, or ABC/Disney.

Secondly, the USFL being in their second season has seen a “sophomore slump”, per se, when it comes to the overall TV ratings. With two spring leagues competing with each other in 2023, this was expected.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the USFL successfully made it through a second season, and brought fans plenty of entertainment along the way.

The 2023 Championship was no different, as the Birmingham Stallions and Pittsburgh Maulers battled it out in what was an exciting affair from start to finish. With two seasons now behind them, the USFL now will shift their focus to 2024 and beyond.

What are your thoughts on these USFL TV Ratings from the Championship? Do you have a favorite moment from the USFL 2023 Championship? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!

  1. James,

    Agreed that NBC was NOT aggressive at all in promoting the game. In fact NBC’s ProFB Talk website had no stories promoting or talking it up – and that cost zip while its widely read. That was disappointing

    But you also need to consider the TV market share size of the cities represented in all 3 games. USFL 2023 was by far the lowest:

    USFL 2023 had two of the smallest market teams totaling 1.157% (.62 birm and .95 pitt) US household marketshare, vs 2x USFL 2022 3.11% (.62 birm and 2.51 philly) and 3x XFL 2023 4.57% (2.46 dallas and 2.11 DC).
    Market size matters in TV viewership.

    Its why USFL needs to play in Philly with NJ or Philly and NJ both – even 2-3 games each there to get local media/press/fan engagement.

    All in all USFL season avg 631k, XFL 634k and USFL 747k 2022. But when adjusting our week 1 and looking at Weeks 2-championship:

    USFL 2023 weeks 2 thru Championship 2022: 615k (39 games)
    USFL 2022 weeks 2 thru Championship 2023: 653k (35 games)
    XFL 2023 weeks 2 thru Championship 2023: 567k (39 games)

    Both leagues have areas to improve.

  2. To be honest both Pittsburgh games were awesome fun in the playoffs and competitive But the announcing is what I had a problem with. They underperformed big time. The voices were blaze a about big plays and rarely sucked you in. This should be a top priority to replace them or TEACH them how to build some excitement & energy into big plays and big situations. They blew it as far as I’m concerned. Big plays were made or converted and the dudes talked like it was a 1st and ten run play. We were all disappointed in them. Not sure if it was that particular network or what but it was for both Pittsburgh games. The semi final may have been the best USFL game ever and those announcers were pathetic. Pretty sad., it was a great opportunity to captivate the competitiveness and some excitement. It’s almost like they didn’t want to be there. Missed opportunity USFL.

  3. Hi,
    Once you get more of the country involved with there own teams, the ratings will grow
    substantially. No mystery what needs to be done. 1) Place the teams in their home
    cities. 2) Start adding some more teams.
    It’s a great league and I’m sure a lot of cities would love to have a team.
    I know they are following a crawl then walk then run philosophy, but you have crawled for two years;
    now it’s time to start walking. Time to expand the operation.

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