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XFL and USFL reportedly in surprise talks to merge spring football leagues for the 2024 season

The battle for Spring professional football supremacy may soon be over with a new report claiming the XFL and USFL are in advanced negotiations on a merger that would begin next year.

There is no denying that the NFL is the most popular sports league in the United States, and by a wide margin. The league rakes in billions every season and seems to raise the bar for ratings with the impressive audiences its content gets during the season. That is why it’s no surprise that Spring pro leagues have popped up again in recent years.

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Two years ago, the USFL made its triumphant return to the modern sports landscape followed by the third incarnation of the XFL in 2023. However, there was always a huge risk in such a venture. While sports fans love the NFL and college football, it does not mean they will watch any version of high-level football. Furthermore, both the XFL and USFL, as well as other Spring leagues, have failed in the past.

XFL and USFL merger could be finalized as soon as next week

xfl, usfl
Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it seems that the writing may again be on the wall for the two leagues and they both seem to believe if you can’t beat them, then join them. On Tuesday, AXIOS reporters Tim Baysinger, Dan Primack, and Sara Fischer revealed that multiple sources have confirmed the two brands are in serious discussions to merge the two leagues for the 2024 season.

“The merger would be structured as a merger of equals and would require regulatory approval,” one of the sources told the outlet. In a merger of equals two companies of similar size come together to form a single new company. However, it is unclear if there will be a new name for the league or if XFL or USFL will be retained as the brand for the merged league.

Fox Corp. is the owner of the USFL and broadcasts its games on FOX, FS1, and NBC. The XFL is owned by WWE legend and Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his business partner and ex-wife Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners, and their games in 2023 aired on Disney-owned ESPN and ABC. At this time it is unknown where games for the merged league will air in 2024.

AXIOS also reported that an announcement on the merger could come as soon as next week.

The move makes a lot of sense for both leagues with neither showing notable signs of long-term staying power based on their television ratings and ticket sales over the seasons played the last two years. Furthermore, competing at similar times during the year also watered down the limited talent pool available to them.

A merger would strengthen the rosters for the teams left after the deal is completed and could create an even better product going forward.

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