There has been much made of the recent UFL press release talking about the success of the first 5 weeks of the season. The story has been picked up by multiple news outlets and some have added additional insight on the United Football Leagues inaugural season.

Multichannel has a quote from Fox Sports president of insights and analytics Mike Mulvihill. He talks about how the UFL is compared to other established sports leagues.

“The most important thing is to put a credible professional football product on the field, and I think we’re really happy with the quality of play,” he said. “I think what we’ve always tried to stress is that we want this league to rate at a level that’s comparable to very well-established sports, and I think that’s where we’re at.”

Joe Reedy from AP got some addition thoughts from Fox Sports CEO and executive producer Eric Shanks crediting UFL CEO and President Russ Brandon and co-owner Dany Garcia for a smooth merger of the USFL and XFL. He also puts over Garcia’s role in growing the UFL.

“Russ is a great operational football executive who has contacts that are second to none. Getting to know Dany, the avenues she opens up to think about through her relationship with players and coaches, content, marketing, branding, social media, it really opened my eyes to why the XFL had been successful,” Shanks said. “Some of the metrics around our UFL coverage are successful. And a lot of that goes to Dany.”

He also has a quote from Brandon on the thoughts behind the UFL not using the XFL kickoff model for the 2024. Even though the NFL has adopted it for their upcoming season.

“We went back and forth on the kickoff. At the end of the day, both leagues were looking at almost the identical return rate and the injury data was almost identical as well. So we kept, the more formal kickoff play,” he said.

Burke Magnus ESPN’s President of Content talks about how it was a bad idea for having two competing leagues in the XFL and USFL.

“I don’t think there was a doubt in anyone’s mind on either side that there was a healthy appetite in the spring. But I believe the idea that there could be two competing leagues was probably far fetched,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s President, Content. “It’s a very healthy number. I think it speaks to the interest in the game of football broadly. The play on the field has also taken a big step as well.”

It certainly looks like we are in for a season two of the UFL. Both sides of the partnership between FOX and ESPN are happy with what they are seeing so far. The TV product and interest in the league is good. Attendance in some locations is questionable.

The question of many UFL fans minds is potential changes in 2025.Will they change when the season kicks off, will they go back the the XFL kickoff and which teams will return in 2025.

One thing is for certain, since 2022 we have had spring football in the United States. That is an accomplishment. The ground floor has been built and we will have another season in 2025.

author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

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