The TV Ratings from USFL Action on FOX/NBC Sports are in for Week 10. The USFL’s final four regular-season games on FOX, FS1, and the USA Network averaged 337,750 viewers. The lowest output of the entire USFL season. In Week 9, the league averaged 574,000 viewers per game.
USFL Week 10 TV Ratings (Courtesy Nielsen Media Research)
- Week 10 kicked off on Saturday at Noon ET on the USA Network. The game between the New Jersey Generals and Philadelphia Stars averaged 239,000 viewers. Week 9’s Saturday afternoon game on USA garnered 350,000 viewers. The telecast scored a 0.04 in the 18-49 demo, ranking it 87th out of 150 Cable shows.
- The second game of the weekend aired on FOX at 4 pm ET. The Birmingham Stallions-Tampa Bay Bandits game averaged 649,000 viewers. Week 9’s FOX USFL showing averaged 742,000 viewers.
- Sunday’s Noon ET game on USA featuring the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers with the first overall pick at stake averaged 282,000 viewers. The broadcast registered a 0.06 18-49 demo rating, ranking it 64th out of 150 cable telecasts.
- The final game of the weekend aired on FS1 on Sunday night. The New Orleans Breakers and Houston Gamblers contest averaged 181,000 viewers. The lowest viewed game of the 2022 USFL season. The regular-season finale scored a 0.04 18-49 demo rating, placing it 91st amongst the top 150 cable shows.
Through the first ten weeks of the USFL season, 36 of the league’s 40 games have aired on measured broadcast channels. The other four have aired exclusively on the Peacock streaming service. Here is the up-to-season average viewership for each network.
- FOX- (13 games): 886k
- NBC-(8 games): 1.13 million
- FS1- (7 games): 284k
- USA- (8 games): 334k
Quick analysis: The USFL’s overall season average viewership was under 700,000 per game. (658,000) With the league having no playoff berths at stake in the final week. As a result, The needle for viewership in Week 10 did move dramatically downwards.
Are the USFL’s TV ratings good? Yes and No. It depends on how you look at them. If they are compared to other sports entities on the lower rung of the rating landscape. Then the numbers are comparable and acceptable. As an example, MLS did 541,000 viewers this past Saturday afternoon on ABC. But these viewership totals are far from being a smashing success. There have been a few different factors that have worked against the USFL in obtaining a more substantial audience.
Mainly, The league’s teams are not playing in their respective cities. Very little to no crowd engagement at the games has affected the TV product and viewing experience. Even a smaller crowd of 5,000 fans per game invested in the product, would make the games seem more captivating to the mainstream sports crowd. The absence of that has been a turn-off for casual viewers. Or, more importantly, it kept people from returning to turn the games on.
By default, the USFL ratings should go up during the playoffs. The final three games of the season will air on Network television. NBC/FOX (2). With two of the playoff games on in primetime and the league championship game on FOX.
It’s a given that the USFL will be back in 2023. The same financial model was used for TSL on FOX in 2021 to serve as a bridge to the 2022 version of the USFL. The real question is not a year two of this iteration; it’s the type of league the USFL will have in their next phase.
For bookkeeping and context on the USFL viewership numbers throughout this entire season. Here are the USFL TV ratings from the first nine weeks as a reference point. * Figures courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.
USFL Week 1 TV Ratings
- Saturday, Apr. 16: NJ Generals vs. Birmingham Stallions (FOX): 1.757 million viewers, 0.56 rating/(NBC): 1.310 million viewers, 0.42 rating
- Sunday, Apr. 17: Houston Gamblers vs. Michigan Panthers (NBC): 2.153 million viewers, 0.69 rating
- Sunday, Apr. 17: Philadelphia Stars vs. New Orleans Breakers (USA): 771,000 viewers, 0.25 overall rating, 0.11 in the 18-49 adult demo.
- Monday, Apr. 18: Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh (FS1): 268,000 viewers, 0.09 overall rating, 00.6 in the 18-49 demo.
USFL Week 2 Ratings
- Friday, Apr. 22: NJ vs. Michigan (USA): 363,000 viewers, 0.12 rating, 0.07 18-49 demo, ranked 72nd out of top 150 cable telecasts.
- Saturday, Apr. 23: Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh (FOX): 1.056 million viewers, 0.34 rating
- Saturday, Apr. 23: Birmingham vs. Houston (FS1): 402,000 viewers, 0.13 rating (172-minute duration),
- Saturday, Apr. 23: Birmingham vs. Houston (FS2): 88,000 viewers, 0.03 rating (36-minute duration)
- Sunday, Apr. 24: New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay (NBC): 757,000 viewers, 0.24 rating
USFL Week 3 TV Ratings
- Saturday, April 30: Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Houston Gamblers (FOX) averaged 825,000 viewers.
- Saturday, April 30: Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers (FOX) averaged 1.144 million viewers.
- Sunday, May 1st: Michigan Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (USA) averaged 292,000 viewers.
USFL Week 4 TV Ratings
- Friday, May 6: Philadelphia Stars vs. Michigan Panthers (FS1): averaged 207,000 viewers, 0.07 rating
- Saturday, May 7: Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Birmingham Stallions (FOX): averaged 1.051 million viewers, 0.34 rating
- Sunday, May 8: Houston Gamblers vs. New Orleans Breakers (NBC): averaged 1.159 million viewers, 0.37 rating
USFL Week 5 TV Ratings
- Friday, May 13: Michigan Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits (USA): averaged 250,000 viewers.
- Saturday, May 14: New Jersey Generals vs. New Orleans Breakers (FOX): averaged 724,000 viewers.
- Sunday, May 15: Birmingham Stallions vs. Philadelphia Stars (NBC): averaged 905,000 viewers
- Sunday, May 15: Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Houston Gamblers (FOX): averaged 692,000 viewers
USFL Week 6 TV Ratings
- May 21: Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia (NBC): 785,000 viewers, 0.25 rating
May 21: Michigan vs. Birmingham (NBC): 1.196 million viewers, 0.38 rating (NBC’s final number for the Michigan-Birmingham USFL game — was down considerably from a Bruins-Capitals NHL playoff game in the same window in 2021 (2.28M*).
- May 22: Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans (FS1): 281,000 viewers, 0.09 rating
May 22: Houston vs. New Jersey (FOX): 665,000 viewers, 0.21 rating
USFL Week 7 TV Ratings
- May 28 – NJ Generals vs. Tampa Bay Bandits, USA: 228k, 0.07 rating
- May 28 – New Orleans Breakers vs. Michigan Panthers, FS1: 267k, 0.09 rating
- May 29 – Birmingham Stallions vs. Pittsburgh Maulers, FOX: 830k, 0.27 rating
USFL Week 8 TV Ratings
- June 3: NJ Generals vs. Pittsburgh Maulers, USA: 208k 0.07 rating
- June 4: Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers, FOX: 625k 0.20 rating
- June 5: Philadelphia Stars vs. Michigan Panthers, FOX, 773k 0.25 rating
USFL Week 9 TV Ratings
- Saturday, June 11, 1 pm ET, NBC: Michigan Panthers vs. NJ Generals: 815k, 0.26 rating
- Saturday, June 11, 6 pm ET, USA: Birmingham Stallions vs. Houston Gamblers: 350k, 0.11 rating
- Sunday, June 12, 4 pm ET, FOX: New Orleans Breakers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits: 742k, 0.24 rating
- Sunday, June 12, 7:30 pm ET, FS1: Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Philadelphia Stars: 389k, 0.12 rating
USFL Playoff TV Schedule
Both Finals games will take place this Saturday at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The championship game will also occur at the same exact location a week from Saturday.
The Northern Final pits the 6-4 Philadelphia Stars against the 9-1 New Jersey Generals. The game will air on FOX at 3 pm ET.
The Southern Final will see the 9-1 Birmingham Stallions finally leave home behind for the first time, as they square off with the 6-4 New Orleans Breakers in Canton with a championship game appearance on the line. The game will air in Primetime Saturday on NBC at 8 pm ET.