Last week we saw a slight increase in FOX’s showcase broadcast of the USFL. This is the first time in spring league history that a league has seen an increase week over week. In the past it’s usually gone down since the opening weekend.
Looking to week 4, we had a few differences in the schedule. First, we had a late-night 10pm ET kickoff on Friday night, which is generally a bad night for ratings. Additionally, the early Saturday matchup was set to be a Peacock exclusive.
The big question on everyone’s mind has been, can the league keep it up, or will we see it dip back down? Thanks to Seth Lessans, we can take look into what kind of numbers the league pulled in for week 4.
The first game of the week saw the latest of the season so far. The matchup between the Panthers and Generals was slated to start at 10pm ET, but was slightly delayed due to the truck race on FS1. In what turned out to be a very exciting game, 207,000 viewers tuned into to the broadcast. We expected to see a lower number for this game, so there’s really no surprises here. In all reality, all eyes are on the network broadcasts of the USFL.
The early game on Saturday aired as a Peacock exclusive, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any numbers on that front.
Moving to the showcase Saturday night broadcast between the Bandits and Stallions, FOX held steady pulling in 1.051M viewers. After the second week dip in ratings, many worried that the numbers would continue to drop. Instead, we saw them level out and last week we even saw a slight increase.
Last up was the Gamblers and Breakers, which aired on NBC. So far this season we’ve seen some good numbers from NBC, but since the first week they’ve been unable to crack 1M viewers… Until now!
The broadcast pulled in 1.159M people, in what turned out to be the most watched USFL matchup of the weekend. Again, very promising news for the USFL and NBC should be happy with these numbers as well. This broadcast beat out their presentation of the Premier League, once again showing the USFL can hold its own against established sports entities.
Fox Exec Mike Mulvihill chimed in on the news to point out that FOX and NBC saw a 12% uptick week over week.
The USFL action returns this Friday night with the Michigan Panthers taking on the Tampa Bay Bandits at 8pm ET on USA. After this next weekend, we’ll officially be halfway through the inaugural USFL season. We’ll continue to report on the USFL ratings on our way to the championship, but so far so good.
Did you enjoy the last week of USFL action? What matchup are you looking forward to the most in week 5? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.