XFL Giving Sponsors Extra Ads

  • by February 22, 2001
The XFL's viewership is down, way down, and they're going to do something about it. No, they're not going to get more talented players, they're going to give current sponsors more ad time. The league reached about half as many TV viewers in Week 3 as advertisers were told to expect when they paid close to $140,000 for the 30-second spots, so something had to be done. There will be one less sponsor now, however, as Honda has already decided it is done with the XFL.

Games on NBC, UPN and TNN combined for a 5.5 national household rating last weekend, down 36% from Week 2, and nowhere near the combined 10-to-11 rating advertisers were promised.

NBC, which jointly owns the XFL with the World Wrestling Federation, had its national rating for the XFL fall to 3.1 in Week 3, a drop of 33% from Week 2. That follows the 52% decline in ratings the league had from week one to week two.

UPN's ratings have gone from 3.1 to 2.1 to 1.5. TNN, which didn't air a game in Week 1, went from 1.9 to 0.9 in national households.

Saturday night's XFL broadcast on NBC was the lowest-ranked prime-time show on any of the four major networks last week, tying for 89th place with UPN's "Star Trek Voyager."

One team is trying something of their own to draw fans. The XFL's Los Angeles Xtreme, and goZing, a permission-based, wireless direct marketing company, have agreed on a wireless advertising campaign for the 2001 season, designed to bring new fans to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Utilizing goZing's member-base in the Los Angeles area, goZing and the Xtreme will be sending advertisements for several upcoming games directly to members' wireless devices (cellular phones, PDAs and alphanumeric pagers) throughout the L.A. area. Of course, if these ads are treated anything like XFL broadcasts, they'll just be ignored.

- Adam Bernard may be reached at AdamBernard@mediapost.com

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