During a recent XFL clash in Houston, two members of the DC defenders were thrown out for fighting. Shortly after they were kicked out of the game, they were interviewed by the ESPN announcement team.
"The guy had just thrown a punch and frankly he wasn't that repentant." Wow, that could be really cool TV, "said ESPN lead play-by-play man Steve Levy with the second replay of Vince McMahon's soccer idea next weekend.
More player access is only part of the audience experience that XFL sells as it tries to maintain success as the country's other professional football league. There will also be audio from coaches who call up games for quarterback, and a greater emphasis on gambling – including spread and over / underweight as part of the point error that is constantly displayed on the screen.
"That was my standard answer:" This is the last attitude, do you know what I mean? "Levy said." If it doesn't work, it just won't work. "
The 2001 XFL lasted one season, and in its absence, thanks to the growth of fantasy football and gambling, the NFL continued to grow in popularity. The AAF tried to fill this gap as a spring response to the NFL a year ago. AAF's opening night, which aired on CBS, brought an impressive 2.9 million viewers. There was excitement, and eight weeks later the league was financially ruined and shut down.
Levy said he believes the XFL will remain more relevant if the games stay on the more popular networks – almost all of the games will run on ABC, ESPN, Fox, or FS1.
"I'd be surprised if there weren't at least two seasons for this XFL," said Levy, who will play alongside Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill and Dianna Russini.
"Vince has deeper pockets than the AAF, television partners that were different from the AAF. They were broadcast on other CBS cable channels. … Each of my games will take place [at] 2:00 p.m. ABC every Saturday. It is a real obligation. We get a lot of resources internally – maybe no resources for "Monday Night Football", but pretty scarce. We treat this as a first class operation. I have my regular college football producer for that. We have the right employees in front of and behind the scenes. "
Along with these factors, Levy cites the two-year planning period that has passed this season, and that the XFL teams, made up of former NFL players who haven't made it to the top level, have been together for several months ,
The XFL also has the weight of ESPN and Fox behind it.
"That can only help, and we've seen that over the years," said Levy. "If ESPN has the rights to what it is, the SportsCenter tends to play a little harder, a little higher. It's a good deal, it's a good advertisement."
The new league also offers various options for preferred personalities at ESPN such as Levy and Fox, with NFL studio presenter Curt Menefee playing the leading role.
"It's cool to be on the ground floor of something," said Levy. "My crew will get the championship game. I have been with ESPN for 27 years and the only championship I ever called was a Frozen Four many, many years ago. I've always been the second or the third. "