The UFL Fan Base Is Growing

Halfway through the inaugural season, the UFL is attracting new fans and finding a place in the crowded spring sports environment. Compared to last year’s USFL and XFL Week 5 ratings, viewership is up across the board in all areas, including a 33% increase in the highly desirable 18-49 demographic. The games televised on ABC and FOX average just under a million fans per week. Cable TV subscribers on ESPN and FS1 bring in another 680,000 viewers. Fan engagement through social media is surging and a passionate fan base is emerging across all platforms to support their favorite teams.

Despite heavy viewer competition from the NCAA basketball tournament, the NBA playoffs, professional golf, and Major League Baseball, the UFL makes a strong case for why fans watch football in the spring. The UFL’s growing popularity proves there’s room for a league that embraces innovation and isn’t afraid to do things differently. 

The UFL Fan Base Is Growing

Thrilling Competitive Games

Mar 31, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Showboats safety Christian Mcfarland (3) celebrates in the end zone after returning a fumble for a touchdown in the during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Roughnecks at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Buvid-USA TODAY Sports

By changing the rules to create a more thrilling, competitive game and improved fan experience, the UFL is successfully engaging new viewers. Football fans who may have initially ignored the UFL, are now catching on to what they’ve been missing. Stories of 82-yard touchdowns, thrilling come-from-behind victories in the closing seconds of a game, and quarterbacks who look more like NFL-caliber running backs, are catching the attention of even the most skeptical viewers.

Dedicated to creating a better fan experience, the UFL has improved viewer access and provided full transparency in decisions between coaches, players, and officials. Fans are treated to faster-paced games, open microphone exchanges between coaches and players, and increased accountability for officials with Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira reviewing all penalty calls.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement when viewers gain access to coaching decisions and game strategy as it unfolds. Fans watch the offensive coordinators’ issue play calls to the field and ‘listen in’ on conversations between the head coach and his quarterback as they dissect what went wrong following an unsuccessful series.

Increased accessibility means that, unlike the NFL, instead of waiting until halftime as the team is heading for the tunnel, UFL players and coaches are available for interviews throughout the game. Seconds after a thrilling 50-yard pass is run in for a touchdown, the receiver is interviewed on the sidelines while he’s still gasping for breath, about how he made that play.

Standout Players

Mar 30, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; St. Louis Battlehawks wide receiver Marcell Ateman (3) jumps for a catch between Michigan Panthers safety Kai Nacua (21) and cornerback Keith Gipson (6) during the second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things spring football has been known for previously was as an incubator for emerging NFL talent. The Dallas Cowboys found their kicker, Brandon Aubrey, in the USFL. Alex McGough, who led the Birmingham Stallions to the Championship last year, has been signed as a backup quarterback to the Green Bay Packers. Battlehawks quarterback A.J. McCarron has bounced back and forth between St. Louis in the spring and the Cincinnati Bengals where he served as a backup. It’s worth noting that McCarron is the most efficient quarterback in the league, passing for over 1,000 yards in five games with 10 touchdowns. His stats are second only to Luis Perez, the Arlington Renegades quarterback who leads the league in passing with 1,150 yards.

Several other players have similarly distinguished themselves this year. Jake Bates, the Michigan Panthers kicker, has already been contacted by multiple NFL teams after kicking two field goals over 60 yards. The Panthers have several other players who have come to the attention of NFL scouts, including outstanding safety Kai Nacua (29 tackles and three interceptions) and running back Wes Hills who scored three rushing touchdowns in a single game last week.

Birmingham Stallions quarterback Adrian Martinez is having an amazing season on the strength of his rushing ability and looks more like an NFL running back than a quarterback. Martinez has developed an uncanny ability to rip off huge blocks of yardage at a time and is currently leading the league in rushing with 302 yards on 26 carries and averaging an outstanding 60.4 yards per game. 

The San Antonio Brahmas, with the best defense in the league, have several players who would be an asset to any team in the NFL. Jordan Mosley and Tavante Beckett have 40 tackles each between them in five games and Mosely also has an interception. Not to be overlooked, Jordan Williams, with 26 tackles, is the sack leader on the team with a fumble recovery to his credit.

Find Out What You’re Missing 

The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only thing to bet on this weekend. Current betting odds for the Birmingham Stallions v. Memphis Showboats game have the Stallions as a 13.5 favorite. The St. Louis Battlehawks are 11.5 favorites over the Houston Roughnecks. The Michigan Panthers are favored by 3.5 points over the Arlington Renegades and the D.C. Defenders are 1.5 point underdogs to the San Antonio Brahmas.

The Weekend TV Schedule 

Saturday, May 4th- Birmingham Stallions vs. Memphis Showboats -12:00 pm EDT on ABC

Saturday, May 4th-Houston Roughnecks vs. St. Louis Battlehawks -3:00 pm EDT on FOX

Sunday, May 5th-Arlington Renegades vs. Michigan Panthers -1:00 pm EDT on FOX

Sunday, May 5th-San Antonio Brahmas vs. D.C. Defenders-3:00 pm EDT on FOX

Check your local listings for more information.


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