The Rock’s XFL ‘is in advanced talks over historic merger with the USFL’ in deal which could see direct rivals join forces as early as this year
- The XFL and USFL have offered an addition of pro football during Spring time
- Both leagues have failed to capture the imagination of most NFL fanatics
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
The Spring offering of pro football could soon look a little different as the XFL and USFL consider becoming one prior to the 2024 season.
According to an Axios report, the XFL – owned by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, among others – and the USFL, owned by FOX Corp., are in ‘advanced talks’ with announcement of a merger feasibly possible this week.
Should it come to fruition, the respective leagues would be equals in the union with broadcasting of games to be ‘likely split’ between FOX and the XFL’s media partner, Disney.
The XFL and USFL may look for similar players but there is no rivalry as such between the leagues.
Moving forward in partnership together makes sense to bring a better product as an offseason alternative to the NFL.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s XFL could be merging with the USFL as early as this week
The USFL and XFL aren’t exactly rivals, thus a merger between the leagues makes logical sense
‘We will not comment on rumors and speculation,’ the XFL stated in an email to Axios.
After the second iteration of the XFL, which first launched in 2001, was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, Johnson and other business partners purchased the league for $15million that summer.
And while the league returned this year and lasted the full season, it still has a long way to go to be financially viable, as Forbes reports it lost an estimated $60million in 2023.
According to Forbes, about a quarter of the league’s income comes from ESPN, which pays the league $20million in TV rights.
The league was first launched by WWE chief Vince McMahon in 2001 but lasted just one season.
The Rock’s involvement in the XFL comes after his own experience playing football.
Johnson played at the University of Miami from 1990-94 and dreamed of going to the NFL, but went undrafted before transitioning to wrestling.
‘I needed the XFL because football didn’t end on my terms,’ he told Forbes.
The XFL, according to a Forbes report. lost an estimated $60million through the 2023 season
‘Football was the dream. Football was gonna be the thing that I was gonna be able to buy my parents their first house, buy my mom anything she wanted, he continued.
‘And when that didn’t happen, that crumbled for me. And there was something psychologically that I realized I hadn’t dealt with.’
The USFL, in its first incarnation, began in 1983 and existed as a rival to 1985 before folding. It returned in 2021 with its first season coming the following year.