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XFL takes another ratings hit

The XFL took another hit on NBC Saturday night, but this slide was its smallest week-to-week drop to date.

NBC's national telecast of the XFL clash between the New York/New Jersey Hitmen and the Los Angeles Xtreme produced a 1.5 rating, 4 share in Nielsen fast national numbers for the league's lowest rating performance to date. Last week's game drew a 1.7/5. The primetime game drew an average of 4.2 million viewers, roughly equal to the audience the XFL game drew one week earlier, suggesting that the nascent football league has found its audience level.

That would be decidedly bad news for NBC and advertisers on the games who bargained for a 4.5 average rating on NBC.

Meanwhile, the XFL is reportedly considering a strategy to expand its talent pool next season by recruiting high school football players who are ineligible to play in college due to poor scholastic performance - a controversial move that the NFL has thus far shunned. - Richard Tedesco