Earlier this month the XFL put out a press release announcing that they had partnered with the NFL to assist in player safety and innovations. Naturally, some took this as a blow to the USFL from their future competition in the spring.
It seems that it may not be an issue at all. In fact, FOX CEO Laclan Murdoch spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference where he mentioned that the NFL has been helpful and supporting the launch of the new USFL.
Deadline was on top of the situation, pulling quotes from the conference.
The NFL has actually been tremendously helpful to us in thinking through and setting up the USFL,” Murdoch said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. “They haven’t tried to obstruct it at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. They’ve helped us.”
Murdoch goes on to talk about the partnership structure in the new league, stating “the financial risk to us is not significant, but the upside and the opportunity is significant.” He says that at the moment FOX owns all of the intellectual property and rights, but overtime the eight franchises could be acquired by outside investors.
This falls right in line with what we’ve been reporting. We’ve already heard about one potential owner. Last summer, shortly after the USFL was announced, it’s been said that league execs reached out to ARod to come in as an owner for the New Jersey Generals.
It definitely is interesting to see the NFL so engaged in the success of the two spring football leagues. At the end of the day, the NFL sees the USFL and XFL as complementary and not as competition. Ultimately, the more football content on the air in the offseason creates the potential to create new fans for the NFL. At least, that’s what they’re hoping.
FOX has had a close relation ship with the NFL over the years, so it would only make sense that they may be less apprehensive about assisting out FOX and the USFL.
Do you think this hurts the NFL partnership with the XFL? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.