Fourth Down for XFL?
World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. president Linda McMahon said
her company is working hard to right declining ratings at its faltering XFL
professional-football league, but she conceded that the league could disappear
after its inaugural season.
After a strong start, XFL ratings have declined about 75 percent since
opening day -- a result McMahon said is from poor product.
'We don't think we have delivered great football on the field,' she told
analysts at a Bear Stearns & Co. media-investment conference in Boca Raton,
McMahon said XFL co-owner NBC has a two-year commitment to the league, and
she added that the WWF is conducting research to figure out why former viewers
have left the program, as well as why fans are staying put.
'We have to evaluate the viability of the product in the marketplace,'
McMahon said. 'We are committed through this first season, but we are taking a
close look on a week-by-week basis.
'We're struggling with the XFL,' she added. 'We're committed to see if it's
got legs, and we want to give it a little bit more time to have those legs.'
McMahon stressed that the league should not be looked at 'like a television
pilot. It takes time to build a brand. It takes time to build player awareness.
It takes time to develop the stars fans want to see.'
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