Some more information is available in regard to the first weekend numbers for the XFL, and it’s all pretty positive. As reported yesterday, the 3.3 million viewers was considered to be a good start for the league and a particularly good sign comes from the fact that the games didn’t show much drop throughout the weekend, at least when you factor in that the Sunday game aired on ESPN which is in a much lower number of households than ABC or FOX.
According to the WON, the league’s first weekend scored well across most metrics. Online activity was good, with Google searches coming in at #1 for the weekend in sports with 4 million searches, topping UFC 247’s 2.1 million. It was second to everything except the Academy Awards for the weekend. Betting markets reported an activity level on par with major conference basketball games, as well.
It’s important to note that, even with good holds throughout the first weekend, these numbers are almost certainly higher than they will be as the weekend carries on. While sports leagues are much stronger in terms of live same day numbers as a rule, they do generally see ratings drops as the season progresses (with the exception of highly-anticipated games). The curiosity of first-weekend viewers will cause some drop-off as we progress, and as noted yesterday anything at about an ultimate settling point of 1.5 million for broadcast networks and 700,000 for ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will be considered a success. It is believed that the numbers will settle in around week three or four.
This weekend’s games are:
* New York Guardians at DC Defenders (ABC)
* Tampa Bay Vipers at Seattle Dragons (FOX)
* Dallas Renegades at LA Wildcats (ABC)
* St. Louis Battlehawks at Houston Roughnecks (FOX Sports 1)