Why The XFL might work..
The New XFL
If you asked a ten-year-old me in 2001, when the XFL crashed and burned if we’d be talking about the XFL again in 2020, I’d have probably thought there was about as much chance as Tamagotchi’s not being awesome forever – i.e. NO!!
But if history has taught us anything – capitalism is relentless. This weekend, The XFL (The new football league owned by billionaire wrestling owner Vince McMahon) willplay its first games. Of course, today’s XFL bears almost no resemblance to the outrageously violent and raunchy original offering, which unironically fielded a team called the ‘Hitmen’!!
Instead, viewers will be treated to new fast-paced, rule-heavy football games which will focus on quality, not spectacle. However, it’s still not clear whether the XFL will become a viable project.
Why the XFL might just work
Legalized Sports Betting:
The new XFL is a gambler’s dream. ABC and ESPN’s coverage this weekend will offer point spreads and over/unders on their ‘score rolls’ (the graphics at the bottom showing the score). While TV commentators can talk about those bets and odds when appropriate, something which is not allowed while calling NFL games.
- As sports betting breaks free from its regulatory shackles, the size of the industry is starting to take shape. Last week, casino operator Penn National Gaming paid $163 million for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, a media company with a rabid audience of sports bettors.
All XFL game will be broadcast on networks such as ABC, ESPN, and FOX.
The games are expected to take less than 3 hours. Halleluiah – Please let this be true.
Why the XFL might not work
The list of failed NFL wannabee leagues is longer than a Walmart receipt. The most recent entry was the Alliance of American Football, which went bankrupt last year after a nasty, cruel, and short life.
Looking ahead…whatever happens with the XFL long-term, Vince McMahon is glad for the distraction. WWE, the entertainment company he leads, expressed “considerable uncertainty” about its future and strategy earlier this week.