The TV ratings are in for Week 3 of the USFL 2023 season. A week ago, The USFL averaged 466,000 viewers across four games, with two airing on cable. But in Week 3, the league returned with three over-the-air network games on its weekend slate.
Once again, the USFL encountered the XFL; however, this past weekend, the two league’s games only overlapped twice.
USFL Week 3 TV Ratings On FOX, NBC, And The USA Network
The 4/29 USFL game on the USA Network between the New Orleans Breakers and Birmingham Stallions averaged 293,000 viewers. The game was ranked 41st out of the top 150 cable TV shows in the 18-49 demographic. (Per ShowbuzzDaily) Saturday afternoon’s cable broadcast aired directly against Day 3 of the NFL Draft across several outlets. (ABC/ESPN/NFL Network). The Draft Saturday on ESPN and ABC combined for over 4 million viewers.
A week prior, the USFL’s USA Network game which ran head-to-head with the XFL (636K), averaged 133,000 viewers. There’s no doubt that not having the XFL head to head helped the USFL USA number improve.
Saturday night’s primetime USFL game on FOX, featuring the Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers, averaged 776,000 viewers. The USFL averaged 798,000 viewers a week ago in the same time frame. This week’s game ran head to head in the 7 pm timeslot with the XFL’s South Championship Game on ESPN, which averaged 675,000 viewers.
Sunday afternoon’s USFL telecast on NBC featured the Philidelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers. The noon ET game averaged 761,000 viewers, and last week’s NBC outing in a similar time slot averaged 725,000 viewers.
Overlapping the USFL for their second Sunday game was the XFL’s North Championship game on ESPN. The Seattle-DC Northern Championship playoff game at 3 ET averaged 478,000 viewers.
Both leagues had to contend with the enormous audience the NBA generated on ABC for Warriors-Kings (nearly 10 million viewers on average).
The final game in Week 3 of the USFL 2023 season saw the Michigan Panthers make their home debut at Ford Field against the New Jersey Generals. The 4 pm ET FOX broadcast averaged 563,000 viewers.
Thanks to an added over-the-air network game. Week 3’s slate of USFL games averaged 598,000 viewers.
Week 3 TV Rating Analysis
The good news is that the USFL’s numbers were better than last weekend. The league hasn’t broken a million viewers on any over-the-air network games. But there is room for viewer growth in the near and distant future, with the XFL leaving the space next weekend for a bye before their league championship game.
The two leagues have splintered each other’s audiences. The USFL isn’t scoring as high in viewership as they were a year ago, and the XFL’s viewership has gone down since the USFL 2023 season started. The competition has affected both leagues.
The USFL won round three head-to-head in this spring pro football ratings battle. 776,000 on FOX Saturday night versus 675,000 for the XFL on ESPN. The two leagues combined for 1.451 million viewers if you total the average while running concurrently.
Sunday afternoon was a great display of the two leagues splintering one another. The USFL on FOX at 4 pm ET averaged 563,000 viewers. The XFL on ESPN at 3 pm ET averaged 478,000 viewers.
With the XFL out of the way in Week 4 of the USFL season and then with them concluding their playoffs on May 13th. The spring pro football space will exclusively be the USFL’s until July.
The added games in broadcast windows this year for the USFL to 29 should help the league boost its weekly average as the season progresses.
USFL 2023 Week 4 TV Schedule
Saturday, May 6
Houston at Philadelphia (Detroit), 1 p.m. (FOX)
Memphis at Michigan (Detroit), 7:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, May 7
New Orleans at New Jersey (Canton), 3 p.m. (NBC)
Birmingham at Pittsburgh (Canton), 6:30 p.m. (FS1)