If you are one of the people looking for an alternative to the NFL, look no further. In a press conference this afternoon, WWE chairman Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment announced that they will re-launch the XFL in 2020.
During its original stint in 2001, the XFL became known for its hard-hitting presentation, unusual personalities, and connections to the wild world of professional wrestling. The XFL also became known for its rather extreme rules such as a no fair-catch rule and a pregame scramble to determine which team would receive possession to start the game.
Although it was the extreme nature that set the XFL apart from any other professional football league, McMahon and Alpha Entertainment announced that this go-round will be “gimmick-free.”
While the risk of creating an alternative pro football league has proven to be great, the gamble McMahon is taking will be greater. In its original run, the XFL only lasted one season, and cost McMahon and then television partner NBC nearly $60 million in loses.
Today’s announcement came with a lot of eyebrow-raising comments including the plan to deem anyone with a criminal record ineligible, and his promise to eliminate any social or political conversation from the league.
McMahon and Alpha Entertainment are also looking to make streaming the key avenue for the league’s presentation. With the failure of the original XFL falling on its subpar television ratings, McMahon believes that streaming will diminish the need to even consider ratings when looking at its success.
The XFL will form 10 teams beginning in 2019, and kickoff its inaugural season in Jan. 2020 with a 10-week schedule.