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XFL faces new TV challenges this weekend

Relive the best moments from Friday's PFT Live as Mike Florio and Big Cat dive into the early workouts at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

For the first three weeks of the XFL’s first (technically second) season, the ratings have consistently dropped. For the fourth week, the XFL will be facing the most competition yet for eyeballs.

Both days of XFL games will compete with the Scouting Combine, with Saturday’s workouts from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET and Sunday’s session from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. Will people choose to watch football played by non-NFL players, or will they choose to watch non-football played by future NFL players?

We’re about to find out.

Then there’s the impact of the return of the MLS on the XFL. As noted by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, Sunday’s ABC/ESPN game will be televised on ESPN2 because ESPN has an opening-day MLS doubleheader. Apart from whether and to what extent fans will choose to watch soccer over football, the shift of the XFL game from ESPN to ESPN2, which has been planned all along, necessarily will result in a smaller audience.

And it’s just the beginning. Free agency is coming. NCAA conference basketball tournaments are coming. March Madness is coming. Baseball is coming. With XFL ratings already going down without these specific alternatives for TV viewing, the XFL could be facing an uphill climb.