NBC Sports stays mum on XFL status - Broadcasting & Cable

NBC Sports stays mum on XFL status

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NBC Sports had no reaction to a published report Thursday that the XFL
won't see a second season on NBC.

WWF honcho and league founder Vince McMahon was quoted in a Los Angeles Times reports, saying, 'as for NBC showing games on Saturday nights, that's not going to happen'. McMahon said NBC's status as a business parters was up for discussion.

NBC Sports spokeswoman Cameron Blanchard said, 'We will reevluate our position in the weeks to come.' That reevaluation will probably climax shortly after the season ends Saturday night with the XFL championship game at the Coliseum between the Xtreme and the San Francisco Demons. That so-called 'Million Dollar Game' will NBC likely be the last XFL contest NBC televises.

NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has indicated it would take a dramatic ratings turnaround in the XFL playoffs to sustain a second season on the network. NBC scored a miniscule 1.8 for last Saturday's playoff game between the Demons and Orlando Rage. NBC averaged a 3.3 national rating for 10 regular-season XFL telecasts after starting out with a 10.9.

An XFL spokesman declined to confirm McMahon's remarks as reported in the Times. McMahon reiterated his previously stated intention to dub UPN the XFL's primary broadcast partner and retain a cable deal on TNN or another cable net. And he told the Times the XFL would abandon primetime next year, playing its games in weekend afternoon time slots 'when people watch pro football' instead. - Richard Tedesco

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