Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is moving full speed ahead towards the relaunch of the XFL. This will be the upstart spring league’s third shot to get it right. Everything will depend on how good of a television rights deal The Rock was able to swing with Disney and ESPN.
The league announced their agreement at the network upfronts earlier this week. ABC and ESPN’s family of networks will carry every game of the upcoming XFL season. On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that for the league to survive, there has to be some money attached to the broadcast rights package.
“It’s a five-year deal, no money terms have been announced, and the key to this deal, obviously, is the money terms. Like all these deals, it’s like, getting on TV, like in the old days, which were not that many years ago, but for a fledgling promotion like this, like the first XFL, like the first USFL, like all these leagues, the original idea is that getting on television is important because that exposure will lead you to sell tickets and that’s where you make your money and that is not the case anymore.
Now, it’s money from television. So, the key is not that they got a TV deal. It’s certainly good that they got on ESPN and every game will be on television in some form, either ABC or ESPN, one of the ESPN stations, maybe ESPN2, but every game of that XFL season next year will be on television, so that’s good. All the games will also be on ESPN+, streaming, so they’ve also got that taken care of, too.
But, the key is how much money they got and we don’t know the answer. Because if it’s no money, they can’t make money with the league, because you can’t make money selling tickets. It’s not going to happen. Not this day in age. The costs are too high and you can’t sell enough tickets. I mean, that’s just a reality. The fact that they signed for five years would lead me to believe, since they’re not stupid, that they must’ve gotten a good enough TV deal.”
When Vince McMahon tried to resurrect the league, he was betting on big ratings getting him cash on the second TV rights negotiation. Instead, he lost his patience and the COVID-19 pandemic killed any hope to sustain it. Cash is king, and if The Rock was able to negotiate a lucrative rights package, the XFL could have a good chance to survive.
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Transcription by Thirsty for News