The USFL is wrapping up its first season this Sunday and unlike recent spring football leagues, season two is a go. As season two approaches, Fox is looking to raise money from outside investors and has reportedly hired an investment bank to find them.
According to the New York Post, Fox hired investment bank Allen & Co. to find minority investors for the USFL. The money would be used to expand the league and they are reportedly looking for $150-$200 million. Allen & Co. is the same company that helped with the sale of the Denver Broncos to Rob Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune, for $4.65 billion.
Starting up a football league has a lot of costs and like any startup, you’re spending more money than you’re making at first. Even if things are going well, if you’re able to spread out the financial liability and use outside investment to expand in the hopes of making bigger profits down the road, it’s not the worst idea for Fox to bring on more investors at this stage. USFL ratings are hovering around the million-viewer mark on broadcast TV so for a league in its first season, it’s not so bad when compared to other non-big-four sports.
Fox and NBC were both happy with how things have been going and NBC executive Jon Miller described the USFL as a “profitable property” for the network. Unlike Fox, NBC doesn’t have a financial stake in the league, but it’s clear they do see big things for the USFL and that should speak well for any potential investors.