The FOX-backed United States Football League is nearing the end of its revival season.
On Sunday, spring football fans will be treated to the championship matchup between the Philadelphia Stars and Birmingham Stallions from Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
FOX Sports EVP and Head of Strategy Michael Mulvihill spoke with The New York Post and spoke on his biggest draws from the year as the season winds down.
Mulvihill lauded the “quality of play and TV viewership,” a major criterion in the pre-season with building up a competitor to follow the ratings juggernaut that is the NFL.
Coming in with a 9-1 record, the Stallions give the southern division a strong shot at winning the championship over the North’s Philadelphia Stars (6-4).
The USFL first had a three-year run from 1983 to 1985.
Mulvihill said, “In terms of quality of play and watchability, the league has exceeded expectations, in my opinion. Points per game, length of game and margin of victory are all in line with what fans expect from professional football. Most of our games are one-possession games.
“That’s helped us deliver the viewership we need to be successful.”
Mulvihill shared the League’s intent on showcasing a demand for televised spring football, which he now attests can now be proven by the USFL’s ratings. He shared that the “USFL averaged just over a million viewers on FOX and NBC, which is better than the NHL regular season, better than the Premier League, better than MLS.”
Mulvihill added, “So that’s not a knock on those properties at all. It’s an acknowledgment of their success and of the fact that we aim to belong in their company. The USFL showed that it more than belongs on the spring and summer sports calendar.”
With its first season soon to be etched in the history books, the trajectory looks up for the USFL and is expected to continue to climb as the product evolves with more spring competition entering the field.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela