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XFL vs USFL: Revenue, Salaries, Viewership, Attendance and Ratings

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated February 24, 2023
15 min read

The NFL is in its offseason, but pro football fans and bettors now have two spring leagues playing their favorite sport for money and glory – the XFL and the USFL – and oddsmakers are making each matchup even more exciting as more and more U.S. states legalize sports betting.

The XFL and the USFL are alike in many ways yet they still share differences worth noting, and here we break down how the two leagues compare in terms of revenue, salaries, viewership, attendance, and ratings as both fight to survive in a world now hungrier than ever for football.

Here we showcase all the different ways these two groups approach the sport and business of pro football on their way to bringing fans and sports bettors the best possible football product.

XFL vs USFL Comparison Table

 

XFL

USFL

Revenue

$20 million

(2020, partial season)

$7.5 million per year

Average Player Salary

$5,000 per week

$1,000 bonus per win

$5,350 per week

$850 bonus per win

Rookie Minimum

$5,000 per week

$1,000 bonus per win

$5,350 per week

$850 bonus per win

Average Head Coach Salary

$500,000

TBD

Ticket Price

$40 USD

$55 USD

Highest-Paid Player

QB Brett Hundley, $200k

N/A

Broadcast Partners

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, FX

Fox, FS1, NBC, Peacock, USA

Average Viewership

TBD

1.115 million average viewership per NBC telecast

334k per USA telecast

 (2022)

Average Attendance

10,000

TBD

Ratings

TBD

Birmingham: 2.11

New Orleans: 1.50

Tulsa: 0.91

Knoxville: 0.90

Detroit: 0.78

Austin: 0.78

Albuquerque: 0.78

(2022 Season, NBC, USA)

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XFL vs USFL

On-Field Differences Between the XFL and the USFL

Most of the rules that the XFL and the USFL follow on the field are the same, but here are some of the major differences between how these two leagues of pro football teams will play:

Teams / Divisions / Rosters: The XFL is made up of 8 teams split into two divisions (North and South), each team with a 51-man active roster; the USFL is made up of 8 teams split into two divisions (North and South), each team with a 50-man roster with 40 active and 10 inactive players on game days.

KICK OFFS: in the XFL they kick off from the 30 and only the kicker and returner can move until the ball is caught or after the ball has been on the ground for at least three seconds; in the USFL kickoffs take place from the 25-yard line and the ball is live once it travels 20 yards.

RECEPTIONS: In the XFL, they will play by college rules and players will need to maintain possession with only one foot inbounds for a catch to be considered legal; in the USFL, a reception requires two feet and possession of the ball just as it does in the NFL.

PATS: After an XFL TD, teams can go for one point from the two yard line, two points from the five-yard line, or three points from the 10-yard line; after a USFL TD, teams can kick for one point from the 15-yard line or run a successful scrimmage play from the two-yard line for two points or from the ten-yard line for three points.

CHALLENGES: XFL coaches will be given one challenge per game, but it can be about any possible play including judgment calls; USFL coaches are allowed one replay challenge per game with Replay Command at FOX Sports Control Center in Los Angeles making all replay decisions.

ONSIDE KICKS: The XFL allows onside kicks but in the 4th quarter they also have the option to convert a fourth-and-15 play from their own 25 to retain possession and keep the offense on the field; the USFL allows onside kicks and in the 4th quarter they also have the option to convert a fourth-and-12 play from their own 33 yard line to retain possession and keep the offense on the field.

OVERTIME: In the XFL, tied games at the end of regulation will result in alternating attempts from the opponent's five-yard line; USFL overtime involves a shootout in which each team's offense runs a play against the opposing defense from the two-yard line, three plays each, and each successful scoring attempt receives two points. Ties after that result in sudden death until a winner is declared.

XFL vs USFL: Revenue

Which League Makes More Money: the XFL, or the USFL?

TBD.

During the XFL’s shortened 2020 season, that league reportedly earned $20 million. Their current season is underway, so all revenue won’t be tallied and reported until well after the Championship game is played on July 2.

The USFL's estimated annual revenue after one season is reportedly $7.5 million, that number bound to increase over time as the league grows and evolves. Money issues tend to be spring football’s biggest enemy, so expect both leagues to maximize their return.

How Does Each League Distribute Its Revenue?

The XFL’s new ownership group is made up of wrestler turned actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, IFBB professional bodybuilder Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital.

If there is revenue made in 2023, it will go to them.

The USFL is owned by a company called National Spring Football League Enterprises Co, LLC, which is reportedly a joint venture between Brian Woods and Fox Sports. Any revenue generated by that league will go to them.

Which Is More Profitable, the XFL Post-Season or USFL Postseason?

The USFL postseason.

But that’s only because the XFL in 2023 has not had a postseason yet but it will begin after all ten games of the regular season are played. The XFL semifinals are scheduled to take place on April 29 and 30 and the league championship will happen on Saturday, May 13.

The USFL’s 2022 Division Finals attracted almost 2 million viewers and averaged a 0.65 rating while the Championship game had 1.52 million viewers and scored a rating of 0.9, promising numbers for a league’s inaugural postseason.

Which Teams Are Worth More, XFL or USFL?

Tough to say.

In 2020, the ownership group led by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson reportedly purchased the XFL and all its teams for $15 million (plus over $9.2 million in debts and payments) – and that was just hours before an auction could take place.

In the USFL, no team has an individual owner. Instead, FOX Sports owns each team under a subsidiary known as National Spring Football League Enterprises. FOX Sports has reportedly committed $150 million over three years to operate the league, with outside investors also being sought.

Which League Is More Internationally Driven, the XFL or the USFL?

The XFL may be relatively new, but according to its marketing it promises to bring a “global professional football league with innovative rules and an enhanced 360-game experience” to fans across the globe.

For the USFL’s inaugural 2022 season, it presented its games in more than 130 countries worldwide. NBC Sports and FOX Sports presented a live, 14-game USFL schedule internationally, including both semifinal playoff games and the championship game.

Expect those efforts by both leagues to be met with open international arms as the world continues to fall more and more in love with watching (and betting on) the game of football.

The Eight Teams of the XFL

South Division

  • Arlington Renegades
  • Houston Roughnecks
  • Orlando Guardians
  • San Antonio Brahmas

 North Division

  • D.C. Defenders
  • Seattle Sea Dragons
  • St. Louis Battlehawks
  • Vegas Vipers

The Eight Teams of the USFL

North Division

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • Memphis Showboats
  • New Orleans Breakers

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Notable Players

XFL

  • Josh Gordon, WR, Seattle Sea Dragons – a former NFL player who struggled with off the field problems missing both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
  • Martavis Bryant, WR, Vegas Vipers – a former Pittsburgh Steeler who missed the 2016 season due to a substance abuse violation and who also played as an Oakland Raider.
  • Vic Beasley, LB, Vegas Vipers – a former NFL standout for the Atlanta Falcons who was a Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro selection in his second season.
  • Paxton Lynch, QB, Orlando Guardians – a former NFL first round draft pick who spent time with the Denver Broncos who also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers.

USFL

  • Kyle Lauletta, QB, New Jersey Generals – a former NFL hurler who was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • Darius Victor, RB, New Jersey Generals – a former Towson standout who was last season’s Offensive Player of the year after leading the league with nine touchdown runs.
  • James Morgan, QB, Pittsburgh Maulers – a former NFL player who spent time with six different teams and was signed to the Arizona Cardinals practice squad last December.
  • Alex McGough, QB, Birmingham Stallions – after suffering an ankle injury he replaced an injured J'Mar Smith in the Championship game and helped the Stallions earn that title.

League Coaches

XFL South Division

  • Bob Stoops, Arlington Renegades
  • Wade Phillips, Houston Roughnecks
  • Terrell Buckley, Orlando Guardians
  • Hines Ward, San Antonio Brahmas

XFL North Division

  • Reggie Barlow, D.C. Defenders
  • Jim Haslett, Seattle Sea Dragons
  • Anthony Becht, St. Louis Battlehawks
  • Rod Woodson, Vegas Vipers

USFL North Division

  • Mike Nolan, Michigan Panthers
  • Mike Riley, New Jersey Generals
  • Bart Andrus, Philadelphia Stars
  • Ray Horton, Pittsburgh Maulers

USFL South Division

  • Skip Holtz, Birmingham Stallions
  • Curtis Johnson, Houston Gamblers
  • Todd Haley, Memphis Showboats
  • John DeFilippo, New Orleans Breakers
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XFL vs USFL Frequently Asked Questions

What is the XFL? USFL? What does XFL and USFL stand for?

What is the XFL 2023 vs USFL 2023 Player Compensation?

Why Might the USFL and XFL Work This Time?

Who are the League Owners of the XFL and the USFL?

How The Two Leagues Build Their Rosters?

Will the XFL compete with the USFL?

Is the XFL a professional football league?

Can XFL and USFL players go to the NFL?

Will the XFL merge with the Canadian Football League (CFL)?

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AUTHOR

Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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