XFL suspends operations, apparently done after one year

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The XFL has laid off its staff and reportedly has no plans to return in 2021, after an abbreviated season of rapidly declining ratings that ended with COVID-19 forcing its shutdown.

A statement from WWE, whose president and CEO, Vince McMahon, was the owner of the XFL, confirmed that the league “has suspended operations and is evaluating next steps.”

The second iteration of the XFL, which had a one-season run way back in 2001 before shuttering operations, started out with the league averaging more than 3.12 million viewers per game on ESPN, ABC and Fox.

But by Week 5, the last week of games before the COVID-19 shutdown, the XFL had lost 62.8 percent of its audience, to an average of 1.16 million viewers per game, and was set to be challenged on TV by the NCAA Tournament and the start of the MLB season

One has to assume that the challenges faced by WWE, which was struggling financially even before COVID-19 forced that company’s biggest single-day moneymaker, WrestleMania, to go with a stripped-down, no-fan format this past weekend, might have also had an impact on the fortunes of the XFL.

Story by Chris Graham

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