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USFL 2022: Opening Weekend TV Ratings Soar On Saturday, Fall Slightly On Sunday

The TV Ratings and viewership totals are in for the opening week of the USFL 2022 season.

On Sunday, the league sent out a press release to the media touting its projected combined FOX, NBC, and Peacock viewership total for the USFL Simulcast opener on Saturday night between the Birmingham Stallions and the New Jersey Generals. The game’s peak viewership was at 3.48 million from 10:45 PM to 11 eastern.

USFL 2022 Opening Week TV Ratings

Saturday night’s debut USFL game averaged 3.067 million viewers when combining the FOX and NBC telecast.

In the USFL opener on FOX, the game averaged 1.757 million viewers, with a 0.33 rating in the 18-49 demo.

The USFL game telecast on NBC averaged 1.310 million viewers, with a 0.23 rating in the 18-49 adult demographic.

A solid overall showing by the USFL for its open. The debut game for non-NFL leagues have traditionally done well in recent times because of a sample audience that tunes in.

As a reference point, the debut game for the AAF on CBS two years ago in a similar prime time slot averaged 3.25 million viewers.

ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON ON ABC, the XFL’s debut game in 2020 averaged 3.302 million viewers. The league’s doubleheader game on FOX earned 3.290 million viewers.

The XFL back in 2020 had three games on opening weekend on ABC and FOX, respectively, that had over 3 million viewers per telecast. Their highest-rated game on Sunday afternoon produced 3.4 million viewers. The 3.4 million viewers for the Tampa-NY game was the highest-rated non-NFL pro game since week six of the original XFL season in 2020. (3.67 million).

The USFL debut with just over 3 million viewers on two networks, held up favorably well against other prominent sports telecasts on network television this past Saturday.

For context, the NBA playoffs on ABC drew 4.52 million viewers. PGA Golf on CBS averaged 2.099 million viewers.


A lightning delay on Sunday afternoon dampened the USFL’s momentum from Saturday Night. But the ratings for Michigan-Houston, which was delayed for almost an hour, were pretty strong, all things considered.

The NBC broadcast of the Panthers-Gamblers game delivered 2.153 million viewers. As more viewership numbers become available, this article will be updated.

The weather delay caused a significant depletion of the expected crowd in attendance at the USFL’s primary hub site, Protective Stadium. And a shift that pushed back the start times of the league’s triple-header games. And ultimately caused the league to move their final Sunday contest between the Tampa Bay Bandits and Pittsburgh Maulers to Monday night.

But the overall number Sunday on NBC is a positive one. All things considered, and mainly because the game fell on Easter Sunday.

The Michigan Panthers-Houston Gamblers game on NBC Easter Sunday earned a healthy 4.0 market rating in Detroit. That number far exceeds the ratings that Detroit Pistons games regularly average during the season.

The second half of what was supposed to be a tripleheader saw the Philadelphia Stars-New Orleans Breakers game on the USA network average 771,000 viewers, with a 0.11 in the 18-49 adult demo. A modest number but in line with other sports leagues and shows who deliver similar numbers on cable television.

The USA network USFL game was ranked 13th out of the top 50 cable shows on Sunday.

USFL Monday Night Game On FS1 Ratings

UPDATE* The Monday night makeup game between the Tampa Bay Bandits and Pittsburgh Maulers on FS1 at 7 pm EST averaged 268,000 viewers, with a 00.6 in the 18-49 demo. The telecast ranked 90th out of 150 cable shows.

In Week 2, the USFL will have their first action on Friday, April 22 as the Michigan Panthers will face the New Jersey Generals at 8:00 p.m. ET on USA Network.

On Saturday, April 23 it’s the Pittsburgh Maulers vs the Philadelphia Stars at 12:00 p.m. ET on Fox followed by a matchup between the Birmingham Stallions and the Houston Gamblers at 7:00 p.m.

Then on Sunday afternoon, the New Orlean Breakers will battle it out with the Tampa Bay Bandits at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. 4th&long

    April 19, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Hey Mike/Mark PFT linked to your article – Good times!

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