By CultureBanx Team
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s third iteration of the XFL set to kick off again in 2023
- The XFL averaged 1.9 million television viewers per game and generated nearly gross revenues of $20M in 2020
Spring football’s biggest sensation is on its way back with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson touting the resurgence of the XFL. Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital already completed their $15 million acquisition of the once bankrupt pro football league. With Johnson’s new iteration of the XFL comes new rules, new television contracts and an opportunity to tap into the market that made the NFL about $9.8 billion in national revenue, with 32 teams receiving a record $309 million each during 2021.
Why This Matters: The second iteration of the XFL folded in 2020, but things will hopefully be different this time around. Johnson wants to make the league focused on the players and their goals to achieve success in their football careers. The XFL, like the NFL, is more than 70% Black when it comes to players, with two of the league’s eight teams being helmed by Black head coaches/general managers.
Player contracts are directly correlated to how successful a league is, so The Rock and crew must sign a new television contract and consider a schedule when it’s appropriate to return to play. This will be imperative, because prior to the XFL’s shutdown it was projected to bring in $46 million in gross revenues for the 10-game season, but suspended play after five weeks, according to court filings. In reality the league averaged 1.9 million television viewers per game and generated nearly $20 million in gross revenues in 2020.
“We want to create a league of culture, a league of opportunity, a league of passion,” Johnson said on the ManningCast.
Since Johnson and his investors got the league for a steal, they should be able to capitalize as the XFL already had Disney (DIS -0.53%) owned ESPN and ABC, along with Fox as its broadcasting partners. They should easily be able to re-start those sports TV contracts. A large part of the NFL’s revenue is media rights along with sponsorships, which attracted $1.62 billion last season.
As a single-entity league, Sports Illustrated reported that all revenue from television rights, ticket sales and endorsements went straight to the XFL to be distributed. This is drastically different from how privately-owned NFL teams mix league-wide revenue sharing with local revenue.
What’s Next: There should be more announcements about the league coming in the next couple of weeks especially with the NFL wrapping up its season in February. The XFL is set to kick off again in 2023.
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