The Super Bowl is over, but football fans don’t have to give up the gridiron just yet. The XFL makes its triumphant return this weekend with four games nearly two decades after the league initially folded.
All XFL games this season will be televised on either ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2. If you don’t have cable or don’t have those channels, you can watch every game live on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, PS4 or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
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ABC, Fox (both live in select markets), ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 are all among the 60-plus live TV channels included with Hulu With Live TV, which also comes with Hulu’s extensive on-demand library of TV shows and movies:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch a live stream of all XFL games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app. You can also watch the ABC and ESPN games on the ESPN app if you sign in using your Hulu credentials.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu With Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as the option to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of space and the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) offers six different channel bundles. ABC, Fox (both live in select markets), ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1 are included in all packages, while Fox Sports 2 is in the “Max” bundle. The “Plus” and “Max” bundles include a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for AT&T TV Now, you can watch a live stream of all XFL games on your computer via the AT&T TV Now website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other compatible streaming device via the AT&T TV app. You can also watch the ABC and ESPN games on the ESPN app if you sign in using your AT&T TV Now credentials.
If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV Now — no matter what channel package you choose — comes with included cloud DVR.
YouTube TV comes with 70-plus live TV channels, including ABC, Fox (both live in select markets), ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2:
Once signed up, you can then watch all XFL games live on your computer via the YouTube website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or other compatible streaming device via the YouTube app. You can also watch the ABC and ESPN games on the ESPN app if you sign in with your YouTube TV credentials.
If you can’t watch live, YouTube TV comes with included DVR.
ESPN Digital Platforms
You can also watch the ABC and ESPN games on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet, or streaming device via the ESPN app.
For the ABC games (ESPN3), you won’t need to log-in to a cable provider as long as you are signed in to a participating Internet Service Provider (ISP), but for the ESPN games, you’ll need to log-in to a cable provider to watch.
However, if you don’t have one of those, you can also sign up for one of the above options and then use your AT&T TV Now, Hulu or YouTube TV credentials to sign in and watch the games on the ESPN digital platforms.
XFL 2020 Preview
The XFL is back and will look to capitalize on the momentum of the end of the NFL season, looking to avoid the pitfalls that led to the league folding after it’s only season in 2001.
The weekend will feature four games between the XFL’s eight teams:
- Dragons at Defenders
- Wildcats at Roughnecks
- Vipers at Guardians
- BattleHawks at Renegades
It has been reported that XFL founder Vince McMahon — of WWE fame — invested $500 million of his own money into the league, which might help the league avoid the same fate as the Alliance of American Football. The AAF sprouted up last off season, but failed to make ends meet when it came to money.
“Self-financing not only brings with it a strong sense of financial autonomy, especially when the access to cash is fairly seamless but when this is combined with institutional knowledge, the result is frequently ‘smart money’ being brought to bear,” David Carter, an executive at The Sports Business Group, told Fox Business. “Although the combination of these elements may not ensure success, lacking them certainly hinders it.”
Another thing the league has going for it is the gambling markets. The XFL is embracing that angle of the game and betting on the league has been approved in nine states (New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Indiana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia).
“We are embracing the spread from the start,” said Jeffrey Pollack, the league’s president and chief operating officer. “This is a core business strategy for the XFL. We understand that for a lot of our fans, betting on the games has become as essential to the game experience as the helmet, ball and jerseys. That’s what we’re gearing up to provide. Our mission and our infrastructure are geared to the sports betting future that is coming fast. There are incredible opportunities.”
There will be some familiar faces on the field when the league debuts. Those names include DC Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones, Tampa Bay Vipers wide receiver Antonio Callaway and Christine Michael of the St. Louis Battlehawks. Two names not to look for are Johnny Manziel and Trent Richardson. Neither former first-round picks in the NFL made a roster in the XFL.
The league also will have an interesting set of rules, including no extra points, two forward passes (behind the line of scrimmage) and a new-look kickoff.
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