In a potentially worrying landmark for the XFL, domestic television ratings for the spring-season American football league fell below the one-million mark for the first time over the weekend.
Sunday’s game between the St. Louis BattleHawks and DC Defenders averaged 767,000 viewers on cable network FS1, representing the smallest audience yet for the rebooted league. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Vipers-Los Angeles Wildcats game later in the day on ESPN averaged 833,000.
Television ratings for the XFL have steadily declined since the opening weekend and league executives will be eager for the audiences to level off soon. The start of the Major League Baseball season and March Madness college basketball tournament may have a knock-on effect, however.
XFL commissioner Oliver Luck recently told SportBusiness he is satisfied with the progress of the XFL, but he admits that attendances in both Los Angeles and New York need to improve.
The BattleHawks remain a huge success story, though, with the team opening up the upper deck of the Dome at America’s Center for their next home games.