XFL's Week 4 Games Average 1.4M Viewers as Ratings Drop for 3rd Straight Week

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2020

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 01: Taylor Cornelius #4 of the Tampa Bay Vipers runs with the ball in the second quarter against the DC Defenders during an XFL game at Raymond James Stadium on March 01, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Viewership for the XFL fell for the third straight week.

According to Showbuzz Daily, the league's four games drew an average of 1.4 million viewers over the weekend with a large drop from Saturday to Sunday.

Mike Mitchell @MMXFLWriter

#XFL Week 4 Ratings Saturday 2/29 ABC: Wildcats @ Guardians 1.558 million viewers Fox: Dragons @ BattleHawks 1.802 million viewers Sunday 3/1 FS1: Roughnecks @ Renegades 1.113 million viewers ESPN 2: Defenders @ Vipers 1.030 million viewers https://t.co/EUayJYVaDf https://t.co/W4kMR3QAYQ

The XFL had an average of 1.6 million viewers in Week 3.

The ratings trend isn't surprising as the novelty of the XFL wears off. During the original iteration of the league in 2001, it drew a massive audience out of the gate before hemorrhaging viewers.

This time around, the decline isn't as pronounced, partially because of the changing trends in how people watch television.

The XFL's opening game in 2001 had 15.7 million viewers. Less than a month later, the league was drawing 3.9 million viewers for a game.

By comparison, the XFL's relaunch had an average of 3.1 million fans tune in for the first week earlier this month. At this stage, the league is on par with comparable offerings from other sports leagues.

Mike Mitchell @MMXFLWriter

XFL Saturday Network Ratings Comparisons 2/29 XFL on Fox: 1.802 million viewers XFL on ABC: 1.558 million viewers NBA on ABC: 2.3 million viewers NCAA on CBS: 1.9 million viewers PGA on NBC: 1.7 million viewers NCAA on Fox: 681k MLS on Fox: 756k NFL Combine on ABC: 976k

Week 4 also had competition from the NFL Scouting Combine, which was showcased on NFL Network all weekend and provided an alternative for fans looking for their football fix.

The highest-rated XFL game saw the St. Louis BattleHawks defeat the Seattle Dragons 23-16 on Saturday. Jordan Ta'amu threw for 264 yards and one touchdown while running for a team-high 63 yards to power the BattleHawks to their third win.

The week concluded with the Tampa Bay Vipers' resounding 25-0 victory over the DC Defenders, their first of the season. The Vipers used a steady dose of De'Veon Smith and Jacques Patrick (230 combined rushing yards) to hand the Defenders their second loss.


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