XFL Debut Gets Huge Rating

ByRonald Blum

N E W   Y O R K, Feb. 8, 2001 -- NBC is hoping the rest of its XFL telecasts doas well as the opener.

The Las Vegas Outlaws' 19-0 win over the New York-New JerseyHitmen on Saturday night got a 9.5 national rating, more than twiceas high as the network's usual number for the time slot.

The figure means 9.5 percent of the 102.2 million U.S.television households were turned in. Overnight ratings covering 49major markets had the XFL telecast at 10.3.

More Men Watch XFL Than World Series

In January, NBC averaged a 4.2 national rating for movies inthat time slot.

Saturday night's game got a 17 national share — which means 17percent of the televisions on at the time were tuned in to thetelecast. The rating was NBC's highest on a Saturday night sincethe Olympics last Sept. 30.

The league is jointly owned by NBC and the World WrestlingFederation.

XFL's debut weekend broadcasts Saturday on NBC and Sunday on UPNwere watched by a total of 54 million viewers.

Among men 18-49, Saturday's game got a 10.3 rating from 8-11p.m. EST, the 12th-highest Saturday night rating in the categorysince Nielsen began its people meter in 1987. The audience in thatcategory was NBC's highest since Game 6 of the 1997 World Seriesbetween Florida and Cleveland.

Among men 18-34, the rating (10.2) was higher than the 8.2average for last year's World Series (8.2) and ABC's Monday NightFootball (9.5).

UPN's first telecast, Sunday's game between the Los AngelesXtreme and the San Francisco Demons, got a 3.1 national rating,down from a 4.2 preliminary overnight rating.