Last June FOX announced that they were getting into the football business when they revealed the launch of the USFL. We’re now over halfway through the inaugural season, and we’ve already started to hear news on the future of the league.
FOX is taking the safe approach to launching a football league, hosting all eight teams in Birmingham, AL for the first year. The goal for year one is to get the product on the field, and to have everything 100% ready by the third season. It’s been reported that the USFL could host as many as four teams in Birmingham next year, which could mean we’ll see the addition of a second hub in 2023.
Earlier this year it was reported that FOX was in talks with Alex Rodriguez about a potential ownership stake in the New Jersey Generals. This was the first we learned of the league’s plans of franchising out the teams. Since then, we haven’t heard much… Until now.
FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch recently sat down with Sarah Fischer of Axios to discuss the future of the broadcasting company. During the interview Murdoch gives some more details on the franchising plans for the new USFL.
Murdoch says Fox is planning to continue to build up local teams. with plans to sell those franchises to local owners in five to seven years.
Unfortunately, there’s not much more detail than that. Some have argued that this means that we won’t see the USFL in their local markets until they are sold, and to our understanding that is not the case.
Will it be five to seven years before we hear of private owners, highly unlikely. If the reports of the talks with A-Rod are true, then some of it may be in the works already.
If there’s really anything to gather out of these comments, it’s that FOX is in it for the long haul. We’ve heard about the three-year plan, but with the franchising pieces coming together it looks like the timeline is much longer than anyone expected. If you’re a fan of the USFL, it seems like it’s going to be around for a while.
It seems as if FOX may have finally solved the puzzle of creating a sustainable spring football league. We’ll keep you updated as more information comes out around private ownership in the USFL.
Where would you like to see the USFL expand? Who would you like to see purchase a USFL franchise? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.