The rebooted XFL is gaining an international audience after ESPN announced that its ESPN Player platform will stream the start-up league’s games to subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Audiences on the OTT service will be able to watch more than 40 XFL football games live and on-demand on desktop, tablet, Android TV and mobile, including the regular season, playoffs and final.
In the United States, the XFL has agreed multi-year rights deals with ESPN and the Fox Sports division of the Fox network. From the inaugural 2020 season, XFL games will air weekly on broadcast television (ABC and Fox) complemented by games on cable (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2).
ABC will broadcast the inaugural game, between the DC Defenders and Seattle Dragons, at Audi Field in Washington, DC, on Saturday, February 8, at 2pm ET.
This is the second consecutive year that a second pro football league will debut in the United States. The Alliance of American Football folded after just eight weeks earlier this year.
The XFL is backed by WWE owner Vince McMahon, who has invested nearly $400m (€459m) in the venture. The first version of the XFL — a joint project between WWE and NBC — lasted just one season in 2001.