UFL helmets and logo Credit: UFL

The UFL’s first regular season has come to a close, and the spring football league did an exceptional average rating of 816,000 people across its 40 regular season games, according to Sports Business Journal.

In 2023, the XFL and USFL, two leagues merging to form the UFL, averaged 622,000 and 601,000 regular season viewers, respectively. The UFL’s number is also higher than the 715,000 average the USFL drew in 2022, while it was still the only spring football league with the XFL on hiatus.

One of the biggest reasons for the UFL’s surge in ratings compared to the XFL and USFL came from the league’s many appearances on broadcast television. SBJ notes that six of the UFL’s 40 games topped a million viewers, and all six were on broadcast TV.

Notably, the UFL did decidedly worse than the XFL’s five-week 2020 reboot. Perhaps aided by curiosity after the league was dormant for 19 years, the XFL saw an eye-popping average of 1.9 million viewers per regular season game before being forced to cease operations and file for bankruptcy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UFL’s best rating for the 2024 season came in the Week 1 matchup between the St. Louis Battlehawks and Michigan Panthers on ABC. It averaged 1.3 million viewers.

The league’s focus now shifts to this weekend’s semifinals, where the Battlehawks will host the San Antonio Bahamas, and the Panthers will head to Birmingham to face the Birmingham Stallions. The two winners will advance to the UFL Championship on June 16 in St. Louis.

[Sports Business Journal]