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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's XFL announces TV deal with ABC, ESPN & FX

The deal begins in 2023 and runs through 2027.
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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dany Garcia have found a television home for their relaunch of the XFL.

It was announced on Tuesday that the XFL has reached a broadcast rights deal with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN for XFL games to air on ABC, ESPN networks, and FX. The deal begins with the XFL's return season in 2023 and runs through 2027.

"The XFL today announced a new, global multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, which includes exclusive broadcast rights for all gameday content, tentpole events and more, for its upcoming 2023 season through 2027," a press release said.

"Each season, all 43 games (40 regular season games, two playoffs, one championship) will be featured on a combination of ABC, ESPN networks and FX. Additionally, the agreement includes exclusive content rights across TWDC (The Walt Disney Company) and ESPN’s digital, social and direct-to-consumer outlets such as ESPN+. The XFL is excited to officially announce its 2023 season will kick off on Saturday, February 18."

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Johnson, his ex-wife and business partner Garcia, and RedBird Capital purchased the assets of the XFL in 2020 after Vince McMahon abandoned his plans for the league. 

The XFL, which first went out of business in 2001, was revived by McMahon in 2020, but its return season came to an end after five weeks following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 season aired on ABC, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1.

“This is a definitive moment for the XFL and the beginning of an incredible, long-term partnership for the league, building on my longstanding, very successful legacy relationship I’ve had with Disney throughout my career," Johnson said. "We’re excited to be working with global visionaries that are aligned with the XFL’s values, are true team players and share our ambitious goals to grow the XFL as a global sports and entertainment business. Through the combined power of Disney, ESPN and the XFL, together we will create a new powerhouse on the sports calendar and bring a dynamic game of football to fans everywhere. Time to ball out.”

“Without question, we have long admired Disney’s distinct ability to engage an expansive consumer fanbase across verticals, while also maintaining a deeply authentic, nuanced and heartfelt approach to storytelling much like our own,” Garcia said. “To find a partner that honors our foundation and to be able to root our vision of unwavering passion, accessibility and the future of football with Disney as our home, is a dream come true. We are extraordinarily excited to explore the endless possibilities of this partnership – today is surely just the beginning.”