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USFL Championship ratings fall short of XFL Championship ratings

If Moose Johnston was confused last week, he’s even more confused now.

The former NFL fullback and current president of football operations for the USFL expressed confusion last week over the essential ratings dead heat with the XFL, given Johnston’s believe that the USFL has a far superior product. For the final games of their respective seasons, the numbers were not close.

Via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, the USFL drew an average audience of 1.2 million for the championship game on NBC. That’s a 20 percent drop from last year’s 1.5 million number for the championship game.

The number was also 14 percent lower than the 1.4 million audience that watched the XFL Championship on ABC.

The difference could be in the timing of the games. The USFL Championship happened on Saturday night of the unofficial Fourth of July weekend, with plenty of people not home and/or watching TV. The XFL game happened on May 13, two weekends before Memorial Day.

Still, the USFL Championship did better than either 2023 spring-league title game in 2022, with 1.5 million. It justifies further consideration of whether the novelty has worn off, or whether there’s simply too much football beyond football season.