ESPN And Fox To Broadcast McMahon’s XFL
Vince McMahon is having a second go at launching a Football league, and this time round, he appears to be employing a more strategic approach. His first attempt; a joint venture between WWE and NBC, lasted only a single season back in 2001. Obviously eager not to make the same mistakes again, he has this time round decided to involve big gun broadcasters ESPN and Fox Sports. The broadcasting giants have confirmed having entered into multi-year broadcast agreements with McMahon’s XFL. The new XFL Football league’s games will kick off come 2020, and will reportedly get underway on February 8th; being a week after the NFL’s end of season Super Bowl.
McMahon is also doing things slightly different from a business point of view. The XFL league will be managed by an entirely separate entity that will be run by experienced Football executives and professionals, including Oliver Luck, who will be acting in the capacity of commissioner of the new league.
Fox Excited About New XFL
The combination of McMahon and Oliver Luck, says Mark Silverman, is the making of a great force in entertainment and in Football. Silverman is the president of Fox’s sport networks. According to Silverman, the pair has revealed just some of what they plan to do; including some exciting changes to the rules; and judging by what they have planned, it’s going to be an exciting affair for Fox to be working with them.
The decision to involve big-wig broadcasters Fox and ESPN was in all likelihood Oliver Luck’s doing, as he had previously worked alongside both when he served as the Director of Athletics for West Virginia. According to Luck, both companies have what he refers to as “strong DNA” when it comes to carrying Football league content. In terms of resources, the combination is hard to beat.
The talent company CAA had helped to get the deal underway and had acted as the official brokers in the agreement. CAA has a long-time working relationship with Vince McMahon.
It’s Not The What – It’s The How
It’s always been touch and go with Spring Football. Even though it’s quite disheartening that the Alliance of American Football (AAF) crashed head-on into the curb on the first bend after only 8 weeks last month, the ratings did show that there appears to be a strong appetite for Spring Football yet.
It appears that it may have been massive financial commitments and crazy overhead expenses that dealt the blow of death to the AAF. Thanks to some clever brokerage, none of that comes into play in XFL’s business model.