While there are several caveats we’ll get to, the second week of the 2022 USFL season didn’t draw nearly as many viewers as Week 1.
The four Week 2 games drew an average of 658,000 viewers. That’s down 58% from the Week 1 games, which drew an average of 1.565 million viewers. Notably, that Week 1 average contains a game postponed by rain on Sunday and shifted to Monday night, where it drew 268,000 viewers on FS1 – the lowest of all eight USFL games so far.
Here’s what the four games this week drew.
- Michigan-New Jersey: 363,000, FS1 8 PM Friday
- Pittsburgh-Philadephia: 1.056 million, Fox 12 PM Saturday
- Birmingham-Houston: 402,000, FS1 7 PM Saturday
- New Orleans-Tampa Bay: 812,000, NBC 3 PM Sunday
The main caveat here is that each of these games had a whole lot of sports competition on the schedule. The Friday night game got trounced by WWE SmackDown on Fox and three NBA Playoffs games (a doubleheader on ESPN and a single game on ABC). The Saturday noon game was the highlight of the week, beating three soccer matches head to head on ABC, CBS, and NBC. The Saturday primetime game got blitzed by the NBA Playoffs on ESPN, with Game 3 of the Celtics-Nets series drawing more than four million viewers.
As for the Sunday game, it didn’t have much of a chance. All four networks aired live sports in the 3 PM Sunday window, and unlike Saturday, the USFL finished at the bottom. Warriors-Nuggets on ABC led the day (and the week for all live sports) with 5.864 million viewers, followed by NASCAR on Fox at 4.682 million viewers and the final round of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic, which more than doubled up on the USFL by drawing 1.801 million viewers.
Week 3 viewership will be better by default, with the Sunday evening game airing exclusively on Peacock, meaning that the total viewership for that one likely won’t be reported. The two Saturday games (noon and 8 PM) will air on Fox, and the Sunday afternoon game (2:30 PM) airs on USA. The early Saturday game will have to deal with the third day of the NFL Draft, and competition from the NBA Playoffs remains a looming concern, based on how the first round matchups go this week.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]