The inaugural XFL game between the New York/New Jersey Hitmen and the Las Vegas Outlaws scored a big hit on Saturday night with an 8.8 household rating, 15 share in Nielsen fast national numbers.
That gave NBC a victory on the night with the new football league it spawned with the World Wrestling Federation, hitting a 6.7/19 among adults 18-49, with Fox at 3.9 and ABC at 3.2. NBC peaked at an 8.3/25 in the 8-8:30 p.m. slot, slipping to a 5.5/16 at 10:30-11 p.m. The peacock pulled an average 14.5 million viewers on the night, to CBS's 10.6 million, with ABC and Fox at more than nine million each.
NBC tried to hold its audience by switching from the Outlaws' 19-0 drubbing of the Hitmen to the fourth quarter of a barn-burner between the Chicago Enforcers and the Orlando Rage which ended in a 33-29 Orlando victory. No way to tell whether that helped, as many viewers apparently tuned out as the novelty wore off.
- Richard Tedesco