Daniel Kaplan and Bill Shea of the Athletic recently had an article recapping season one of the USFL. They also estimate how many fans attended Stallions games and how much Networks made on Broadcast ads.
First, they say the Birmingham Stallions averaged around 10,000 fans per game. This is not bad, considering there were games every weekend. We know from being at the USFL Championship game. Fans from Birmingham traveled 12 hours to see their Stallions play in Canton, Ohio.
Laura Grover, head of client solutions at ad tracker EDO talks about how the ads faired for the advertisers in season one. Did they get a good return on their investment? According to Grover, the answer is yes.
“Given the USFL is completely new to TV, it doesn’t offer a fair comparison to the NFL or NCAA football programming environments on national linear TV that’s sustained huge audiences and engagement for years. EDO data shows that viewers have engaged with ads aired during the 2022 USFL season at similar rates as regular-season games for the NBA, NHL, and MLB, so brands’ TV ad investments are paying off.”
She also goes on to estimate how much money FOX Sports made off of TV ads.
“According to EDO, 205 brands spent an estimated $64.6 million on commercials aired during USFL games on Fox and NBC networks this season, through June 25.”
One change that could happen for season two is the schedule. NBC may want to place games after more significant events to give games better lead-ins.
“While nothing is yet decided, Fox and NBC may schedule more games immediately after major event broadcasts. For example, NBC said it found success with USFL games on regular TV following the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby.”
Season two of the USFL will have the return of the XFL, backed by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital.
Mike Mulvihill, Fox Sports executive vice president and head of strategy and analytics, was asked about the impact of the XFL on the USFL.
“Fox’s competition plan is simple: “The strategy is to focus on our product and grow our league and not worry too much about another league that’s going to be on the scene,” Mulvihill said. “If there’s room for us to be successful, there’s probably room for them to deliver some viewership as well. It’ll come down to business models. Who can manage costs and run most efficiently?“
Stay with USFL News Hub all off-season for the latest news.