Although it won’t play a game until next year, the XFL has found a way to make news on a systematic and consistent basis in and around the early weeks of the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season.
The news primarily has come from the naming of coaches, with Dallas (Bob Stoops) and D.C. (Pep Hamilton) done, Seattle (likely Jim Zorn) coming Monday, and five more after that. Another type of announcement also is on the way.
“We are very close to announcing a very strong broadcast package,” XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said recently on KMOX radio in St. Louis, via XFLBoard.com. “Two of the four games will be broadcast over-the-air, terrestrial, major carriers, and the remaining two games will be broadcast over cable, but fully distributed cable sports brands people will recognize.”
If Luck is saying that two games per week will be televised by a three-letter network, that’s significant. The AAF will have only two games for the entire season on CBS — the opening game in Week One and the championship game. Broadcast TV gathers a bigger live audience and generates higher ratings; if the XFL has two games per week on that platform while most AAF games are on cable, that will be a huge advantage for the XFL.