The XFL had a television ratings drop in Week 2. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In a perfect world the new football league would want more viewers in its second week, but that’s not realistic. The novelty of a new league inflates ratings in Week 1, then they drop. That pattern is established.
So the XFL, which felt good about its opening week ratings, presumably braced for a drop. But the drop wasn’t all that bad.
XFL’s ratings were a positive
Jake Russell of the Washington Post had the ratings information for Week 2. He said Saturday’s DC Defenders-New York Guardians game on ABC averaged 2.127 million viewers with a peak of 2.389 million viewers according to Nielsen. Sunday’s Dallas Renegades-Los Angeles Wildcats game Sunday on ABC drew 2.397 million viewers with a peak of 3.381 million viewers. Those are solid numbers and not far off opening week. In Week 1, the XFL game on CBS averaged 2.9 million viewers.
Usually, new pro football leagues see a much bigger drop. The Alliance of American Football saw a massive drop in its second week.
Want to know about #xfl staying power compared to the AAF?— Konnor Fulk (@KonnorFulk_XFL) February 18, 2020
Week 2 TV ratings for XFL on ABC:
2.262 Million average viewers
Peak 3.381 Million
Week 2 TV ratings for AAF:
1.018 Million (TNT)
424,000 (NFL Network)
425,000 (NFL Network)
The #xfl is crushing the AAF’s numbers
For the most part the XFL retained most of its Week 1 audience. That’s a pretty big win.
XFL has momentum
The XFL has some things going for it that previous leagues didn’t have.
The league secured strong television contracts with major networks. All of the XFL’s games this season will be nationally televised. And while it doesn’t have much star power among the players, XFL head Vince McMahon is a huge name due to the WWE. The XFL is also a somewhat familiar brand, having played one season back in 2001. The new league didn’t seem entirely new.
It’s just two weeks, but the XFL’s second try is off to a pretty good start. The biggest challenge might have been not having a nosedive in Week 2, and they passed that test.
More from Yahoo Sports: