One of the bigger surprises on TV over the past weekend has got to be the rebirth of the XFL. That's the new take on the old league that didn't even get a second season back when it was a joint venture of the WWE and NBC in 2001.
This time around? Things are different. The football was actually pretty good. Better than that, even. The quirky rules made things interesting. And ... people watched.
According to an ESPN press release, an average of 3,303,000 people watched Saturday's game between the D.C. Defenders and the Seattle Dragons (the Defs — that's what I'm calling them, anyway — won 31-19). And the ABC broadcast peaked for 15 minutes at just over 4 million viewers.
ABC says the top markets for its game were Seattle-Tacoma; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City; Washington, D.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Atlanta; Milwaukee; Cincinnati; and Austin, Texas.
Sunday on ESPN was a little slower, with an average of 2.495 million viewers catching the St. Louis BattleHawks' (ugh) 15-9 win over the Dallas Renegades. (You know, kinda like a not-at-all-trademark-infringing cowboy.) That game peaked at 2.928 million viewers, which isn't awful considering it was going up against the Oscars telecast.
The top markets for that game were St. Louis; Dallas-Fort Worth; Kansas City; Norfolk, Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Indianapolis, Tampa-St. Petersburg; and Cincinnati.
Another 3.4 million "views" (whatever those are) came from Facebook and Twitter.
The XFL has a pair of games on Feb. 15 and 16, with the New York Guardians taking on the D.C. Defenders at 2 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, and the Dallas Renegades versus the L.A. Wildcats at 3 p.m. Sunday.
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