Breaking Down UFL TV Ratings For Week One Action

Breaking Down UFL TV Ratings For Week One Action

The UFL kicked off this weekend, and gave spring football fans a slate of entertaining games from start to finish. Across the board, the TV Ratings would agree with that analysis, as the numbers are looking more promising than last year already.

With FOX and ESPN working together once again in the spring scene, we’re seeing the benefits of their camaraderie early on.

UFL Week One TV Ratings:

Arlington Renegades vs. Birmingham Stallions: 1.18M (FOX)
Michigan Panthers vs. St. Louis Battlehawks: 1.349M (FOX)
San Antonio Brahmas vs. DC Defenders: 960k (ESPN)
Houston Roughnecks vs. Memphis Showboats: 703k (ESPN)

UFL TV Ratings Analysis

Right off the bat, the 1pm ET opener on FOX between the two champions averaged 1.18M on FOX. Considering that none of the USFL’s games on FOX last year cracked 1M viewers, this is an excellent sign. 1pm ET is by no means close to a primetime slot, and despite the competition, FOX managed to break 1M for the first time since 2022.

Things got even stronger for FOX in the next slot. Michigan and St. Louis averaged 1.349M viewers, the most of the entire weekend.

This one is impressive – and certainly had some assistance. The St. Louis Battlehawks were consistently one of the most viewed teams on cable last year, boosting numbers on FX and ESPN. Not to mention, this game was a lead-in to Saturday Night MLB on FOX. For a game that didn’t pick up until the fourth quarter, one would assume that FOX is pleased with this outcome.

Switching over to Sunday’s games, for ESPN to boast 960k and 703k is excellent. On Easter weekend, ESPN saw better numbers than they did for almost the entire XFL season last year. San Antonio vs. DC had a 12pm ET/11am CT start time, and still put up nearly one million average viewers on cable.

Overall, this feels like a win for the UFL as a whole. Last year, the XFL and USFL clearly ate into each other’s viewership. With spring football having somewhat of a “cap” on its audience at the moment, combining the two leagues made the most sense.

Final Thoughts

When the XFL kicked off their season in 2023, they saw two games on ABC reach 1.5M viewers. They were not dealing with the competition that the UFL saw this weekend, though.

The final average for UFL week one: 1.048M viewers per game. This does not include streaming services such as ESPN+.

That’s an excellent number for spring football. Both the XFL and USFL averaged give or take around 600,000 viewers for their 2023 seasons.

If the UFL can continue to build upon these performances, it’s safe to say that executives should be pleased with these TV ratings. It’s Easter weekend, the league was dealing with March Madness and MLB opening week, and still managed to impress. You love to see it.

Next week, two games are on cable (ESPN), with two matchups on OTA networks (FOX, ABC).

What are your thoughts on these UFL TV ratings for week one? Will the UFL see improvement in week two? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!