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ESPN, XFL sign multi-year broadcasting deal featuring multiple platforms

Article written by:On3 imageJames Fletcher III

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Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ESPN and the Walt Disney Company, which also includes ABC and FX, have reached a multi-year agreement to broadcast XFL games, according to a Tuesday press release. Front Office Sports also reports that the new deal runs from 2023-2027 although official details on timing and platforms will be released at a later date.

The spring football league, which previously attempted to establish itself on two occasions under the same name, has an ownership group led by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners. The XFL is planning to kick off a new season on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, and host 40 regular-season matchups, in addition to two semifinal playoff games and a championship game.

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” said ESPN’s Jimmy Pitaro in a statement. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

XFL owners comment on ESPN deal

Lead owner Dany Garcia, along with the other key figures in the business venture of the XFL took time to comment on the new deal and the belief it shows in the idea spring football can work.

“Without question, we have long admired Disney’s distinct ability to engage an expansive consumer fanbase across verticals, while also maintaining a deeply-authentic, nuanced and heartfelt approach to storytelling much like our own,” said Dany Garcia, Chairwoman of the XFL. “To find a partner that honors our foundation and to be able to root our vision of unwavering passion, accessibility and the future of football with Disney as our home, is a dream come true. We are extraordinarily excited to explore the endless possibilities of this partnership – today is surely just the beginning.”

Former Miami football player turned wrestler and pop-culture icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also provided a statement on the partnership between the two sides and what it can mean moving forward.

“This is a definitive moment for the XFL and the beginning of an incredible, long-term partnership for the league, building on my longstanding, very successful legacy relationship I’ve had with Disney throughout my career. We’re excited to be working with global visionaries that are aligned with the XFL’s values, are true team players and share our ambitious goals to grow the XFL as a global sports and entertainment business. Through the combined power of Disney and the XFL, together we will create a new powerhouse on the sports calendar and bring a dynamic game of football to fans everywhere. Time to ball out.”