Ratings fell in week five of the XFL as the NCAA basketball conference tournament championships took center stage in the sports world.
The XFL’s early game on ABC held its audience better than anything else this week, dropping just 0.7 percent. The game between the league-leading Houston Roughnecks and the Seattle Dragons averaged 1.547 million viewers. It did 496,000 viewers in the 18-49 category.
Ratings for the afternoon network shows are not available, but the XFL’s total audience beat every other sports show on Saturday except for the other XFL game and an NCAA basketball game between North Carolina and Duke.
The afternoon XFL game aired on FOX and averaged 1.497 million viewers. That was down 16.9 percent from last week, but it’s notable that the game aired directly opposite the aforementioned basketball game. The 531,000 viewers in 18-49 was good for second place on TV for all sports programming.
Both XFL games aired on cable on Sunday. The early game was on FS1 and averaged 767,000 viewers. That was down 23.6 percent from the previous game to air on the station and was the first game for the league to fall below one million viewers. The game did a 0.21 rating in the 18-49 category and finished 22nd overall on cable in that demo.
There was heavy sports competition on Sunday, including NBA basketball, multiple college basketball games, NHL hockey, PGA golf, and NASCAR.
The late game aired in primetime on ESPN and averaged 833,000 viewers. The 0.33 rating in 18-49 was good for fifth on the day on cable TV, but the overall number was down 43.4 percent from the last game to air on ESPN. That said, TV competition is much tougher on Sunday night with HBO as well as the major networks all having first-run programming.