The USFL and XFL announced Thursday their intent on merging, subject to customary regulatory approvals. "This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with the substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together," the entities said in a joint statement.
The eight-team XFL league, owned actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Danny Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners, launched its inaugural season this Spring, while the the eight-team USFL -- owned by Fox Corp. -- completed its second season this past May.
Details regarding the new league -- including when it will begin play, and who will televise the games -- will be announced at a later date. Fox and NBC held the television rights to USFL games, while ABC, ESPN and FX aired XFL games.
The combined league will look to solidify what to date has been a spotty history of spring football in the U.S. The USFL re-launched in 2022 after a previous iteration of the league failed three decades earlier. The XFL initially launched in 2001 as a collaboration between the WWE and NBC before shutting down after one season. The WWE's Vince McMahon resurrected the league in 2020 but shut down operations in the middle of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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.