The XFL may be coming back to network television.
The XFL only had one season, which took place in 2001 and was produced by WWE and NBC. It took place during the NFL off-season and promoted as having fewer rules and encouraging rougher play than other major leagues.
There were only eight teams in two divisions. Some of the teams took place in major markets such as Birmingham, Las Vegas, Memphis, and Orlando. The XFL operated as a single entity, with all teams centrally owned by the league.
The games would air on NBC, UPN and TNN. It also featured some WWE personalities such as Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler. as part of on-air commentary crews alongside sportscasters and veteran football players. This league also introduced new things to the game such as extensive usage of aerial skycams and on-player microphones to provide additional perspectives of the games.
After the debut of the first game, viewership started to tank and it garnered a negative reputation due to its connections to professional wrestling. NBC and the WWW both lost $35 million on their $100 million investment in the league's inaugural season.
Although NBC signed with WWE to air two seasons of the league, NBC pulled out of its broadcast contract for the XFL after the inaugural season, citing the poor viewership. The league ceased operations entirely in May 2001. The Los Angeles Xtreme were the XFL's first and only champions. McMahon conceded that the league was a "colossal failure".
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has reportedly started a new company called Alpha Entertainment and many believe this company’s intention is to bring back some form of the once-defunct XFL football league.
Several media outlets picked up on the story. Thus, the WWE issued the following statement:
“Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time.”
Brad Shepard, who broke the story, wrote the following on Twitter after Pro Football Talk posted an article about it: Now, out of nowhere, rumors of a potential return of the XFL have surfaced, with Brad Shepard reporting that McMahon is “looking to bring back the XFL and may announce it on January 25th, 2018.”
What are your thoughts on Vince McMahon bringing back the league? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the fourth episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
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