There’s only two week left in the inaugural USFL season. Before we head to week 9, we need to reflect on the action from the previous weekend.
All season long we’ve been reporting on the USFL ratings. In recent weeks we’ve seen the numbers slump slightly, but this was to be expected. The league is seeing heavy competition from the NBA playoffs, but how much of an impact is it having. Thanks to ShowBuzz Daily, we can look at the numbers available to us.
The first game of the weekend pitted the New Jersey Generals against the Pittsburgh Maulers on USA. Looking at the cable numbers to date, they have lagged behind the broadcast viewers and this week is no different. Add in the fact that this game had a late 8pm ET start, it’s easy to see how it averaged only 208,000 viewers.
Moving to Saturday, the lone game featured the undefeated Birmingham Stallions taking on the New Orleans Breakers in a potential preview of the playoffs. The game aired on FOX, averaging 625k viewers. The game itself was a lot slower than many expected, and the viewership seemed to suffer. Many expected this to be one of the most watched games of the weekend, but that would be reserved for the final matchup.
773,000 viewers tuned into the Philadelphia Stars clinch their playoff spot by destroying the Michigan Panthers on FOX. The was one of the most exciting games of the weekend, so it’s great to see it pull in the most people.
We’re heading into uncharted territory, as the USFL has now outlived the recent spring football leagues lifespan. In 2019 the AAF survived eight weeks, with the XFL forced to shut it down after five in 2020 due to COVID. Add in the fact that the USFL plays at a different time of year, and it’s difficult to make and apples-to-apples comparison between the three.
One thing that is promising is that the USFL continues to hold it’s own against other well-established sports brands. If they can keep this up and build upon what they have now in season two, things should be looking good when it comes to down to renegotiating broadcasting deals.
Did you tune into the USFL this past weekend? What was your favorite matchup? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.