Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may have hit a home run with his new XFL television deal. Johnson is attempting to resurrect the league for a third time after purchasing it from WWE boss Vince McMahon. One expert who closely watches the sports television industry thinks The Rock may have finally got it right.
When Vince McMahon restarted the XFL in 2020, he signed a television rights deal that did not pay the league beyond production costs. That meant the league was destined to lose money for the length of the original contract. McMahon originally was going to simply tough out the losses before negotiating a new deal, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on those plans.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed why he thinks this time may be different. Given the five-year length of the new XFL TV rights deal with Disney, it sounds like Dwayne Johnson was able to swing a viable deal. That could mean long-term survival for the star-crossed league.
“In this case, for them signing a five-year deal, I would think that it must be a viable deal. Not knowing that for sure, but it feels like they won. They’re going to, at least for five years, if they got this deal, and ESPN, everyone’s looking for live sports right now. ESPN because, you know, that’s what everyone’s looking for, and you know, football, it’s a risk, but NFL is like gigantic.
I mean, the popularity of XFL’s probably going to be around the same level as USFL most likely, and we have USFL numbers and I don’t think they’re very good, but it’s still live sports. USA numbers are horrendous, they did an 0.05 on Friday night in prime time. I think that number’s terrible, but, obviously, ESPN and the network numbers are… It’s network numbers. You know, 0.20 range for the games. For network, I don’t think that’s anything special at all, but ESPN’s trying to sign up sports properties.”
We will have to wait for more details on the XFL television rights package to know just how good the deal is. The length and nature of the package combined with networks’ hunger for live sports programming means that The Rock likely got a good deal. That would be incredible news for the XFL, which continues to try and find its footing.
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Transcription by Thirsty for News