Vince McMahon’s upstart XFL has made deals with The Walt Disney Co. and Fox to televise games during the new league's inaugural season.
Both Disney and Fox are current TV partners with the NFL, whose rights will be up for bid in the next few years. The new league will launch on Feb. 8, 2020, after the NFL’s Super Bowl.
“We look forward to showcasing the XFL on ESPN and ABC, including the kickoff game and championship during the league’s inaugural season,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck are two of the sports industry’s most creative and experienced leaders, and they have exciting plans for this league. We believe in their vision for the XFL, which will be a great addition to our year-round commitment to football.”
XFL games will air weekly on broadcast TV via ABC and Fox. Other games will appear on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2.
“We welcome the XFL to the Fox Sports Family and are pleased to expand our relationship with Vince McMahon,” said Eric Shanks, Fox Sports CEO & executive producer. “Football is in Fox Sports’ DNA and a key component of our programming strategy. Alongside Oliver Luck and his incredible team, we’re excited for the debut of the XFL on Fox Sports.”
Each week back-to-back games will be played on Saturday afternoons at 2 pm., ET. The league will also have Sunday afternoon games.
“We are thrilled to partner with ESPN and Fox Sports, two innovative media companies with extensive experience in world-class football production that will undoubtedly help us reimagine football,” said Vince McMahon, XFL founder & chairman. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend.”
The agreements were negotiated by CAA Sports and Evolution Media Capital on behalf of the XFL.