The XFL's first playoff game on Saturday night drew less than three million viewers, virtually ensuring NBC's exit from its deal with the football league.
The Los Angeles Xtreme's 33-16 victory over the Chicago Enforcers pulled 2.9 million viewers with a dismal 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 in Nielsen fast national numbers. NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol indicated recently that its would take a significant ratings turnaround in the league playoffs for NBC to stick with the XFL for a second season. The XFL regular season ratings averaged a 3.3 - well below the 4.5 household rating NBC guaranteed advertisers.
World Wrestling Federation honcho Vince McMahon has declared his intention to seek a deal with UPN as its primary XFL broadcast partner if NBC opts out of its two-year deal. Ratings for Sunday night's XFL playoff contest on UJPN are not yet available. - Richard Tedesco