This year, there is no long layoff without football after the Super Bowl as the XFL kicks off this weekend. There are two games on Saturday, February 8 and an additional two matchups on Sunday, February 9.
The Seattle Dragons take on the D.C. Defenders at 2 p.m. Eastern on ABC in the first game in the XFL’s relaunch. The Houston Roughnecks host the Los Angeles Wildcats at 5 p.m. on Fox. Games pick up again on Sunday, February 9 with the Tampa Bay Vipers taking on the New York Guardians at 2 p.m. on Fox. Finally, the St. Louis BattleHawks square off with the Dallas Renegades at 5 p.m. on ESPN in the last game of Week 1.
It is reasonable to ask whether the XFL long-term viability after the AAF launched in 2019 and failed to make it through its first season. One of the reasons the XFL stands a chance is its television deal that will show many of the games on national TV.
The XFL Has TV Contracts With ESPN & Fox
Fans will have the ability to watch every XFL game on TV with each contest appearing on one of the ABC/ESPN or Fox networks. The majority of games allocated to Disney will either be on ESPN or ABC.
Fox will broadcast a number of games nationally with the remaining contests appearing on FS1. The XFL’s television contract is just one of the many differences between the new league and its AAF predecessor. This immediate visibility is one of the reasons XFL commissioner Oliver Luck believes the league has a good chance to succeed.
“It’s going to be over the course years that we determine the success of the league,” Oliver noted to Athlon Sports. “Secondly, I really believe in the power of our broadcast partners, FOX and Disney with ABC and ESPN. I don’t think there’s ever been a startup sports league, let alone a startup football league, that had kind of exposure right off the bat. I think that’s very encouraging. Those are two to really powerful entities that we’re partners with.”
XFL Games Will Differ Slightly From the NFL
XFL games will appear similar to watching an NFL contest, but there are a few key differences. Fans can expect XFL games to move quicker than the NFL thanks to fewer timeouts and a running clock with the exception of the final two minutes of halves. There are also no extra points as teams can opt to go for one, two or three-point conversions after scoring a touchdown.
Here is a look at the XFL TV schedules for Week 1.
XFL Schedule 2020: Week 1 Games
|Sat., Feb. 8||Seattle vs. D.C.||2 p.m. ABC|
|Sat., Feb. 8||Los Angeles vs. Houston||5 p.m. Fox|
|Sun., Feb 9||Tampa Bay vs. New York||2 p.m. Fox|
|Sun., Feb 9||St. Louis vs. Dallas||5 p.m. ESPN|
XFL Teams List
|Los Angeles Wildcats|
|New York Guardians|
|St. Louis Battlehawks|
|Tampa Bay Vipers|