New York, NY, May 15, 2000 – United Paramount Network has signed an agreement with the XFL to broadcast nationally televised football games live on Sundays (7:00-10:00 p.m., ET; 4:00-7:00 p.m., PT), it was jointly announced today by Adam Ware, Chief Operating Officer, UPN, and Vince McMahon, Chairman, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. UPN will air ten regular season XFL games and one playoff game beginning February 2001. The XFL, which will produce the broadcast of the games, is jointly owned and run by NBC and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NMS: WWFE).
In making the announcement Ware said, “Vince McMahon is in a class by himself when it comes to sports entertainment. The XFL gives us a cornerstone in the world of sports and is another key component of our male-friendly primetime schedule. Our affiliates are very pleased that we’ve acquired this package.”
“We look forward to the attitude and intensity of the XFL and we’re excited to be part of the team with NBC and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment. It’s great to be able to feed the Sunday habit of millions of football fans, while at the same time, participate in the XFL’s inaugural season and beyond,” Ware continued.
McMahon agreed that the XFL is a perfect fit for UPN’s growing male audience. “We’ve had an excellent relationship with UPN and together we have built the largest young adult male audience on network television in just eight months. I believe that the combination of WWF SmackDown! and XFL football on UPN will greatly enhance our ability to successfully reach and continue to build this important audience as we transform XFL into one of the best built brands in sports.”
XFL will be 100 percent competitive sport – the brand of “smash mouth” football that fans crave. The league will connect with fans by returning football to its roots and the wide-open style of play, while at the same time encourage individuality and the natural expression of emotion and exhilaration on the field of play. Television viewers will be given unprecedented access with cameras positioned in locker rooms, on sidelines and in the helmets of selected players. XFL players, coaches, locker rooms and huddles will also be mic’d, providing viewers with unique insight into the strategy of the game and enabling them to fully experience the true emotion, attitude and intensity of the players, both on and off the field. Through rule changes designed to enhance the action and speed of the game, along with broadcast television innovations that will bring fans “inside the game,” the XFL will recapture the natural personality, fun and intensity of pro football.
The XFL is in negotiations with a cable television partner to complement its current broadcast agreements with NBC and UPN.