Breaking Down XFL TV Ratings From Week Ten

XFL Concludes 2023 Season with Growth Across Broadcast Viewership, Game Attendance and Digital Engagement

1.4M viewers watched Championship Game between Arlington Renegades and D.C. Defenders on ABC, peaking at 1.8M

Generated over 1B social media impressions and 600M video views on XFL content during the regular season across League, XFL Ownership and ESPN channels

Average weekly total attendance was 57.7k

ARLINGTON, TX — May 23, 2023 — On May 13, 2023 the XFL successfully concluded its 2023 season in San Antonio, Texas as the Arlington Renegades defeated the D.C. Defenders 35-26 in the Championship Game at the Alamodome.

Throughout the 2023 season, the XFL demonstrated strong growth across key metrics of viewership, game attendance, and digital engagement, while delivering a quality football product on the field for fans and an opportunity for players to fulfill their dreams of competing in a professional football league.

Russ Brandon, XFL President, said, “Our inaugural season was a success by all measures and we are pleased by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from fans, players, and partners. The consistent engagement levels we saw throughout the season is our proof of concept – that there is demand for spring football – and we are proud to have delivered on our promises of being fan-first, fast-paced, and innovative. We have built this League on a very strong foundation and we will continue to build and grow as we plan for 2024 and beyond.”

Brandon continued, “Although the 2023 season only recently wrapped up, we are already seeing how our season strategically aligns with the start of OTAs in the NFL, effectively expanding the player cycle. We are incredibly proud of the opportunities our players have earned after receiving extra training, coaching, and playing experience in the XFL – a testament to our mission. We would like to thank our players, partners and fans for believing in our vision and we’re looking forward to starting offseason scouting to prepare for next season.”

The XFL season showed a high quality of play throughout – evidenced by the number of players signing contracts with the NFL or invited to training camps. We were thrilled to provide fans with incredible access to players, coaches, and league officials, while providing unparalleled access to audio,” said Tim Reed, VP, ESPN Programming and Acquisitions. “We seamlessly produced 43 games over 12 weeks – a testament to ESPN production. From sports betting to social media content to alt-casts on ESPN+, we also continued to innovate to reach XFL fans. We have a lot of momentum as we go into the 2024 season, and we’re excited to partner with the XFL to take our learnings and help advance the fan experience even further.”

2023 Season Highlights

Football Operations & Rules and Officiating Innovation

  • As of May 22, 67 players have been invited to NFL team workouts and 22 have signed NFL contracts
  • Average gametime was 2 hours and 49 minutes, resulting from targeted rule developments such as (1) a running clock after incomplete passes and out of bounds plays and (2) centralized officiating, reducing delay times
  • Averaged 44 points per game during the regular season; 40% of regular season games were decided by four points or less
  • XFL Command Center provided on-air and real-time transparency into officiating decisions, fans were brought closer to the action and the decisions impacting the games
  • Each team was given 15 player headsets which provided ESPN with coach to player audio that opened up a level of transparency to coaching that is unparalleled in professional sports
  • Dynamic, competitive gameplay driven by new rule innovations including (1) double forward pass, (2) three run/pass-only extra point options to allow up to 9-point possessions, (3) onside kick alternative, (4) overtime “shootout”, and (5) unique kickoff structure allowing more return plays

Gameday Attendance & Viewership

  • Total gameday attendance in the regular season was 577K, representing an average of 14.4K per game; Average weekly attendance grew 18% from week 1 to week 10
  • St. Louis, San Antonio and D.C. all had at least one sellout game
  • St. Louis was a standout market with average attendance of +35K per home game; set a record for the most attended game with 38,310 at the home opener on March 12, 2023
  • D.C. attendance grew 50% from its first to its final home game; the final home game and the Divisional Championship Game both sold out with 18,684 in attendance
  • Excluding ESPN+, XFL averaged 621K viewers per game, with 33 of its 40 regular season games on pay TV (ESPN, ESPN2, FX); broadcast viewership averaged 1.1M (ABC)
  • 28M fans tuned in to watch an XFL game this season, growing ~2M new viewers per week

Fan Engagement & Content Strategy

  • XFL social media channels generated over 800M social media impressions and 177M video views*
  • Total XFL social media follower count is 3.5M (League and team handles), which is 28.5% growth with 770K fans added this year*
  • XFL email database increased by 192K to +520K, representing 59% growth*
  • 135K app downloads this year*
  • Leveraged the powerful combination of XFL ownership and ESPN social media channels to extend reach beyond just XFL fans, delivering an additional 700M impressions and over 500M video views during the regular season
  • Launched 9-part docuseries on ESPN+ that followed the creation of the League and development of the players and coaches throughout the season (Player 54: Chasing the XFL Dream)
  • YouTube series Know My Name highlighted player stories on and off the field
  • Content partnership with YouTuber Deestroying generated over 10M video views on XFL-specific content on his YouTube channel, which has over 5M subscribers and targets a Gen Z audience

*Since January 1, 2023

Up-to-date League, team, and player information is now available on Twitter from the XFL communications department at @XFL_PR.

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About XFL

The XFL is a fan-first, fast-paced global professional football league with innovative rules and an enhanced 360-degree game experience. Anchored in world-class football, the XFL brings entertainment and innovation to advance the sport, expand player opportunities, and change the way that fans experience the game. The XFL has eight teams in Arlington (TX), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Orlando (FL), San Antonio (TX), Seattle (WA), St. Louis (MO), and Washington D.C. The XFL is owned by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners and launched in February 2023.