NBC Sports will carry all 21 games from the Fox Sports-controlled USFL league, which will begin play in April 2022 with eight-teams playing a 10-week regular season schedule. Of NBC Sports’ 21 USFL telecasts, eight will air on NBC, nine will air on USA Network, and four will stream on Peacock.
NBC Sports joins Fox Sports, which will air 22 USFL games split between Fox (12) and FS1 (10). The eight USFL teams – all franchises that were part of the inaugural USFL league that ran from 1983 to 1985 before folding – include The Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, Tampa Bay Bandits, Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers.
"We're excited to partner with the USFL and Fox Sports to present this new era of professional football," NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement. "With our multiple platforms across broadcast, cable, and streaming, football fans throughout the country will be able to experience the USFL's opening season this spring."
Added Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks: "We're thrilled to have NBC Sports join Fox Sports as an official media partner of the new USFL. Like Fox, NBC has a reputation for excellence in football production, and the exposure both companies have committed to the USFL, including a combined 20 games on broadcast television, will provide fans unprecedented access all season long."
The USFL is the latest pro football league to attempt to compete against the powerful National Football League. The WWE-backed XFL launched in 2020 but cancelled its season the same year due to the pandemic. The XFL was purchased in 2020 by a group including former wrestler and current movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and is reported to launch sometime in 2023. ■
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
Thank you for signing up to Multichannel News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.