Score one of the little guys, as Week 3 XFL games scored better rating numbers than the vaunted and lauded NFL Combine.
Much of the football world last week was focused on the 2023 NFL Combine. The annual event is a showcase of the many prospects hoping to enter the league during April’s draft. However, beyond talent evaluators from the league’s team’s getting to see top prospects up close and ask them some difficult questions, it is also the epicenter of the latest NFL rumors.
Related: XFL games today – Get a rundown of the Week 4 slate in the XFL
Free agent quarterback Derek Carr was in town to talk to interested suitors before he eventually signed with the New Orleans Saints, and the event even led to an expected Tom Brady return rumor. However, for all the pomp, circumstance, and television time dedicated to the yearly event, it is actually not a strong performer for the NFL.
Earlier this week, Sports Media Watch revealed the numbers from the last week’s various sporting events, and the NFL Combine only averaged a poultry 219,000 viewers. The multi-day event peaked on Saturday when 329,000 diehard football aficionados turned in to watch the quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends work out for league scouts.
However, despite having a much smaller fan base and some serious controversy before their Week 3 slate, XFL games on ESPN and ABC over the weekend averaged well over a half million viewers. The XFL games last week included a wild game between the Seattle Sea Dragons and Vegas Vipers and a battle of unbeaten squads featuring the DC Defenders — the new No. 2 in our XFL Power Rankings — and the St. Louis Battlehawks.
Another sign of how disinterested many NFL fans are with the annual combine is that this year’s ratings were actually up 26 percent from last year, and still had half the audience size of XFL games last week.
The top matchup in Week 4 of the XFL will be a Sunday afternoon clash between the Arlington Renegades and St. Louis Battlehawks on ESPN 2.