XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

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MikeMitchell
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XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:06 pm

https://twitter.com/XFLShow/status/1148563449796091905

In case, some of you didn't see this. 'XFL Show' posted a mock XFL TV Schedule earlier today on social media. There's quite a few flaws with it, but I appreciate the effort. The lack of consideration on scheduling west coast teams as an example, is one of the flaws/oversights in the mock up. You can check out the schedule posted by Bryant Solórzano in the link above.

Back in March, someone reached out to me and sent me a proposed TV schedule for the XFL. This is before the TV deal or schedule was even announced. So it was just a fun little thing to share, for the sake of discussion, during the time frame where there wasn't much information to go on. Except most of us here knew that ABC, ESPN and Fox were going to be the likely TV partners. We just didn't know the times or the schedule layout.

The proposed schedule, that I posted on this board back in March, had several flaws. I went back and edited a lot of it after posting it, which I think was a mistake, even though I had consent. There were several flaws that needed to be inspected further before posting it.

In an 8 team league, sometimes you get scheduling quirks. Where teams will play each other twice in a month span. The AAF had quite a bit of that. Not really their fault. You got 10 games for each team to schedule, with 6 of them being divisional. It's not easy scheduling all 40 regular season games. Especially when you have to contend with booking around the dates of the venues itself, or even a scheduling quirk like where XFL Tampa will have to be on the road during WrestleMania week.

I think the general consensus by most XFL followers is for St. Louis to host in week one. I am completely on board with that as well. It's just a matter of who they play. The other popular stance is Los Angeles playing STL in the Dome. Even though they are not in the same division. It's a natural rivalry, stealing some of that thunder from the Rams leaving STL for LA in the NFL, after originally leaving LA for STL. So there's heat there for sure. Add on the Winston Moss-Jon Hayes playful rivalry for good measure.

The league has three big network games in week one. Two of them on Fox. If LA plays STL, it would have to be at 5pm ET on Fox because of the west coast time difference. If the hope is for STL to play the kickoff game on ABC at 2PM ET, then you'd have to find another opponent for St. Louis. Preferably a team that is in a strong TV market. Perhaps division rival New York. STL should be able to draw a respectable crowd for week one. Not enough to fill up the dome, but maybe something similar to what San Antonio had in their opener with the AAF. 25 to 30K won't look so bad in that stadium.

Weather is a factor in week one. In order for the league to make a good first impression and present quality play. Their week one schedule will have to strongly consider using LA, STL, Tampa, Houston and Dallas to their advantage. There are no guarantees but I feel safer with those locations than in Seattle, DC or NY. Those three teams would have their home schedules back loaded, if I can help it.

For me personally, I want to see Houston-Dallas in week one. It has potential for the best crowd and the best game. Bob Stoops making his pro coaching debut in Texas works at either location. Both stadiums have potential to be filled to capacity in week one. You might draw in fans from both markets, as well as fans traveling from Oklahoma. a packed 25K house in Dallas, would be great for the opener.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by XFLInSTL » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Personally, I'd like to have LA vs. STL later in the season because it will probably be a good draw for fans. And we need to maintain interest. One thing the AAF did really well for a startup league was maintain solid TV viewership, especially considering the channels they were shown on (CBS Sports, NFL Network, BR Live, etc. are not basic networks that everyone get). If the XFL can draw even similar numbers during its worst weeks, it will be just fine. In terms of fans in the stands, the XFL needs to do a lot better than the AAF. 20k or more would be ideal, but as long as they can get 15k in bad weeks in Seattle or something it should be fine.
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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by johnnyangryfuzzball » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:36 pm

XFLinSTL makes a good point: you want the games you expect to be rivalries to be a couple of weeks into the season since they're going to be the ones that draw a higher relative audience. For week 1, when everyone's probably going to already be watching, you might want the most humdrum matchup you can get. Networks being networks, it'll probably have to include New York or LA, but suppose the first broadcast is, say, New York vs. Houston. Not a huge rivalry, but it puts the focus on introducing the XFL game itself. That way, you know that people are tuning in to see what the product is.

There'll inevitably be tune-out after Week 2. There always is. But if you start phasing in the rivalries, people whose interest is piqued will be more likely to keep watching.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by Sounder » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:43 pm

The fact that the aaf games received respectable viewership despite the bad press....pretty much debunks the theory that people don't want a spring league. It regularly topped every fringe sport on every cable outlet. The XFL could do it better.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by MikeMitchell » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:36 pm

XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm
Personally, I'd like to have LA vs. STL later in the season because it will probably be a good draw for fans. And we need to maintain interest. One thing the AAF did really well for a startup league was maintain solid TV viewership, especially considering the channels they were shown on (CBS Sports, NFL Network, BR Live, etc. are not basic networks that everyone get). If the XFL can draw even similar numbers during its worst weeks, it will be just fine. In terms of fans in the stands, the XFL needs to do a lot better than the AAF. 20k or more would be ideal, but as long as they can get 15k in bad weeks in Seattle or something it should be fine.
Good points STL.

The AAF average attendance was 15k per game. The XFL has to try and get in that 20k range.

One of the last ever AAF games, that aired on NFL network was one of the league’s lowest rated games. The game was out of the top 150 shows. The league was fading by the end in viewership.

Even still, the overall average viewership was ok by today’s standards when it comes to an over saturated viewing market. If the XFL can be in that range. That should be perfectly acceptable. I have a feeling though that the league would love to be in that weekly million plus viewership range, rather than hundreds of thousands.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by XFLInSTL » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:55 pm

MikeMitchell wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:36 pm
XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm
Personally, I'd like to have LA vs. STL later in the season because it will probably be a good draw for fans. And we need to maintain interest. One thing the AAF did really well for a startup league was maintain solid TV viewership, especially considering the channels they were shown on (CBS Sports, NFL Network, BR Live, etc. are not basic networks that everyone get). If the XFL can draw even similar numbers during its worst weeks, it will be just fine. In terms of fans in the stands, the XFL needs to do a lot better than the AAF. 20k or more would be ideal, but as long as they can get 15k in bad weeks in Seattle or something it should be fine.
Good points STL.

The AAF average attendance was 15k per game. The XFL has to try and get in that 20k range.

One of the last ever AAF games, that aired on NFL network was one of the league’s lowest rated games. The game was out of the top 150 shows. The league was fading by the end in viewership.

Even still, the overall average viewership was ok by today’s standards when it comes to an over saturated viewing market. If the XFL can be in that range. That should be perfectly acceptable. I have a feeling though that the league would love to be in that weekly million plus viewership range, rather than hundreds of thousands.
This was my point, pretty much. Basically every AAF game was shown on a channel that you had to pay extra to get. Meanwhile, everyone gets the channels that the XFL is on, except ESPN, I think. Because of that, the XFL is (hopefully) going to get significantly more TV viewership than the AAF did on an average week. It'll depend on the quality of play though.

AAF average attendance was brought down by a couple of teams primarily. Salt Lake, Arizona, and Atlanta only topped 11,750 people in attendance once, and that was only 11,751 fans. Plus, attendance averages were brought down a bit because Birmingham had an extremely destructive tornado hit them and then had home games in back to back weeks.
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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by Tank55 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:22 am

XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:55 pm
AAF average attendance was brought down by a couple of teams primarily. Salt Lake, Arizona, and Atlanta only topped 11,750 people in attendance once, and that was only 11,751 fans.

It was an eight-team league! It's not a mitigating factor that three of your markets, including the two biggest, were drowning.

Oliver Luck is on record that 20K is the minimum expectation for all the markets. Six of the eight teams hit that in 2001; I think it's a totally reasonable KPI for 2020.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by johnnyangryfuzzball » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:50 am

Tank55 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:22 am
XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:55 pm
AAF average attendance was brought down by a couple of teams primarily. Salt Lake, Arizona, and Atlanta only topped 11,750 people in attendance once, and that was only 11,751 fans.

It was an eight-team league! It's not a mitigating factor that three of your markets, including the two biggest, were drowning.

Oliver Luck is on record that 20K is the minimum expectation for all the markets. Six of the eight teams hit that in 2001; I think it's a totally reasonable KPI for 2020.
That's historically been the standard: that's what Sacramento and Omaha were able to draw in the UFL (with far less media attention), and at least three teams in the AAF drew that. I would even go so far as to put my expectations in most markets (except Washington, which doesn't have the capacity at Audi Field) at 25,000, which is a little higher than the old XFL's median. Obviously, the more tickets they sell, the closer they're going to get to breaking even.

Seattle will probably break that easily. I suspect they'll go over 30K, between their lack of competition for the time being and the history of being a pretty wild sports town. I think the ones that will struggle the most will be LA and Washington, though LA is largely there for the TV access anyway. New York's huge enough that they'll probably outperform expectations; they usually have. Tampa Bay, my hunch is that they'll do relatively well, but they're a bit of a wild card and I think they'll depend on how well the team plays (if Trestman lives up to his CFL reputation, they'll do quite well). Dallas, Houston, St. Louis... they're all pretty hard to predict right now since there's such a lack of track record in those markets.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by MikeMitchell » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:52 am

XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:55 pm
MikeMitchell wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:36 pm
XFLInSTL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:13 pm
Personally, I'd like to have LA vs. STL later in the season because it will probably be a good draw for fans. And we need to maintain interest. One thing the AAF did really well for a startup league was maintain solid TV viewership, especially considering the channels they were shown on (CBS Sports, NFL Network, BR Live, etc. are not basic networks that everyone get). If the XFL can draw even similar numbers during its worst weeks, it will be just fine. In terms of fans in the stands, the XFL needs to do a lot better than the AAF. 20k or more would be ideal, but as long as they can get 15k in bad weeks in Seattle or something it should be fine.
Good points STL.

The AAF average attendance was 15k per game. The XFL has to try and get in that 20k range.

One of the last ever AAF games, that aired on NFL network was one of the league’s lowest rated games. The game was out of the top 150 shows. The league was fading by the end in viewership.

Even still, the overall average viewership was ok by today’s standards when it comes to an over saturated viewing market. If the XFL can be in that range. That should be perfectly acceptable. I have a feeling though that the league would love to be in that weekly million plus viewership range, rather than hundreds of thousands.
This was my point, pretty much. Basically every AAF game was shown on a channel that you had to pay extra to get. Meanwhile, everyone gets the channels that the XFL is on, except ESPN, I think. Because of that, the XFL is (hopefully) going to get significantly more TV viewership than the AAF did on an average week. It'll depend on the quality of play though.

AAF average attendance was brought down by a couple of teams primarily. Salt Lake, Arizona, and Atlanta only topped 11,750 people in attendance once, and that was only 11,751 fans. Plus, attendance averages were brought down a bit because Birmingham had an extremely destructive tornado hit them and then had home games in back to back weeks.
The AAF’s poor attendance can be attributed to poor marketing and a poor selection of markets.

San Antonio did great. Orlando and San Diego were ok. Everyone else underperformed. I can understand Birmingham’s weather issue for two games but it doesn’t cover up for the rest of the league. Memphis has never been a good football market. They simply don’t draw well enough.

The biggest disappointment in the AAF was Arizona. Salt Lake is a weak football market and was not a good choice. Atlanta is a decent sized tv market but it’s a fair weather fan type location. At least they played in a smaller venue, so their reported 9,000 fans in attendance didn’t look as dreadful in comparison to the other teams.

Arizona had the check marks for a spring pro football league, in theory. Good weather and a good team. The market and the league office failed that team. The Hotshots played an exciting brand of football and were a contending team and they still couldn’t build an audience. They continued to draw under 10k despite their success.

I don’t know how well the XFL will do. The original league averaged 23k per game. The marketing side and business arrangements should help. Like the deal with Elevate. The selection of their markets is a factor too. They are in big tv markets with more earning potential and they are in big time football markets as well.

Ratings are a factor in these markets. Are the people at home in these markets watching? The Chargers may only draw 25k to a game but their local tv numbers are staggering in LA, simply because of the size of that market. There’s more viewership potential. LA may not be known for coming out to the games but the number of tv viewers is always large in that particular market. Same with New York and Tampa. The product has to be good but you have more potential in those markets for profitability and revenue streams than you do Salt Lake or Memphis.

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Re: XFL Show posts Mock XFL TV Schedule

Post by johnnyangryfuzzball » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:34 pm

MikeMitchell wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:52 am
The AAF’s poor attendance can be attributed to poor marketing and a poor selection of markets.

San Antonio did great. Orlando and San Diego were ok. Everyone else underperformed. I can understand Birmingham’s weather issue for two games but it doesn’t cover up for the rest of the league. Memphis has never been a good football market. They simply don’t draw well enough.

The biggest disappointment in the AAF was Arizona. Salt Lake is a weak football market and was not a good choice. Atlanta is a decent sized tv market but it’s a fair weather fan type location. At least they played in a smaller venue, so their reported 9,000 fans in attendance didn’t look as dreadful in comparison to the other teams.

Arizona had the check marks for a spring pro football league, in theory. Good weather and a good team. The market and the league office failed that team. The Hotshots played an exciting brand of football and were a contending team and they still couldn’t build an audience. They continued to draw under 10k despite their success.
Anyone who knows the Arizona market should have seen the warning signs beforehand. The Phoenix Coyotes have been an ongoing disaster for the NHL, plus there's also the Phoenix Suns and MLB spring training to contend against. Now, perhaps if they had decided to put the Hotshots down in Tucson, they might have done a little better... but Tucson's a somewhat smaller market.

Salt Lake, to me, was the bigger disappointment. They actually come close to fitting the XFL market model fairly well: factor in the Salt Lake and the Ogden/Provo/Orem markets, and it's 2.4 million people in northern Utah. Only one competitor in major league sport (the NBA's Jazz). The one thing that probably hurt the Stallions more than anything was the weather: between the altitude, the lake-effect and the latitude, it more resembles Buffalo than Birmingham. Even with that working against them, though, it's still hard for me to believe that that team finished so poorly in attendance. What were the Utahns doing with their time? Sitting at home watching TV?

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