Vince McMahon’s XFL has announced its TV deals for its 2020 launch, however the deals do not include the fees rights deals which they may well would have hoped for.
XFL announced that ESPN and Fox Sports will share broadcast of the regular season, with games on ABC, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 on Saturdays and Sundays. The games will kick off on February 8th 2020, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday April 26th. You can view the full 2020 schedule HERE
The biggest news coming out of this, however, is that the deal does not include a rights fee. A rights fee is a lump sum of money paid by the broadcaster for the TV product, for example Fox paid more than $1 Billion for Smackdown live for 5 years starting October 2019.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reported:
“The networks are not paying a rights fee, but ESPN and Fox are picking up production costs, which generally amount to around $400,000 per game, sources said. As part of the deal, the nets will sell ads around the game; the XFL will handle sponsorships at the venue. ESPN and Fox will hold streaming rights to XFL games. The two nets also will cross-promote games during game broadcasts.”
Over the 43 announced games that equates to roughly $17.2 Million that the networks will be spending. However, the cost of the players, coaches and other expenses will be paid by XFL directly. Vince McMahon has been selling WWE stock to fund his new spin-off company Alpha Entertainment as a separate entity to WWE.
The XFL announcement comes just weeks after the demise of the AAF which filed for bankruptcy in April before finishing their first season of football.