It has been pretty ugly for the United Football League lately. The Florida Tuskers have been contracted, Jay Gruden jumped ship to the NFL, and Mark Cuban is suing the league for five million bucks. Since they want to move their third season up to an August start time with a finale around Halloween they now have to give up on adding a sixth team for year three. That means they will struggle on as a five team league, and worse than that they need to find a new Television partner.
Right now the UFL has nothing going for it. Versus and Cuban’s HD Net station look to be out as broadcast partners, and they do not have a lot of teams in markets that will attract new TV partners. The New England Sports Network did broadcast a few Hartford Colonials games last year, but people not living in the market have virtually no way to see these contests. Let us but a point on this if the UFL is not on TV the party is over.
The only reason this league has managed to survive this long is by being on TV. Even then the exposure they get is minimal at best. A perfect place for them to be would be on the NFL Network, but that seems unlikely to happen. With a gluttony of cable networks out there it seems likely that the UFL should find a partner, but that may not happen.
With just five teams in somewhat odd markets this league does not offer a TV partner much, much beyond the few die hard UFL fans that will tune in to watch this league. The problem with that is we are a definite minority. Year three is a make or break year for an upstart league, and they have already held one vote to disband.
- The Business of the UFL
- Joshua Lobdell.com