Both Fox and ABC/ESPN aired the XFL this year before COVID-19 forced the league to suspend their season just five games in and forced them to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-April. Now that the XFL has new leaders, may had wondered if either of the previous broadcast partners would be interested. Well, we may have some good news.
“Is Fox interested? Sure they’re always interested in (football),” said Patrick Crakes, the ex-Fox Sports executive turned media consultant. “But it won’t be the same kind of deal the Vince McMahon-backed XFL got.”
“The XFL has been a valued partner for Fox Sports, and we look forward to working with the league office and its teams again once they return,” the network said earlier this year.
The article states that Fox declined to comment. That being said, it does make sense. Once the news was announced on social media that the league had been purchased by Dany Garcia, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and RedBird Capital, the XFL on FOX Twitter account resurfaced to join in the excitement.
Here to inform you that @TheRock is part of a group that is to buy the XFL. pic.twitter.com/NppkNxB4U9
— XFL on FOX (@XFLonFOX) August 3, 2020
ESPN filed a limited objection in bankruptcy court, giving them room to re-assess the deal with the XFL depending on who purchased the company.
“Without knowing the identity and business plan of the proposed successful bidder, ESPN objects and does not consent to the potential assumption and assignment of the telecast agreement,” the network wrote in court filings prior to Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital placing a bid. ESPN declined to comment.
The news is still fresh and the sale was approved by the bankruptcy court earlier today. This means the new ownership group should have the keys to the castle by August 21st. From then on, it’s all systems go as the plan is still to target a 2021 return. One major item on the checklist is broadcast partners, and with news things may be looking good for the return of the XFL on TV.