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Volume 26 No. 206
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ESPN's Magnus Excited For XFL's Strategy Ahead Of Spring Launch

Magnus would be happy to see the XFL get a big rights fee from ESPN if they succeed
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
Magnus would be happy to see the XFL get a big rights fee from ESPN if they succeed
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
Magnus would be happy to see the XFL get a big rights fee from ESPN if they succeed
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN

The XFL will become the second spring football league to launch in as many years in February, and one prominent exec at a league media partner is optimistic about the new offering. ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling Burke Magnus during a panel discussion at the '19 Dealmakers in Sports conference highlighted the XFL's "realistic approach" towards starting a new league. Magnus: "They are launching with what I would suggest is the greatest distribution of any new league ever, with ABC, Fox broadcast, FS1 and ESPN." He noted league founder Vince McMahon is "betting on his team and he's betting on his product." Magnus: "Believe me, I would love nothing more than to pay these guys a big, hefty rights fee someday because they've built the XFL into something that's incredibly meaningful." Burke noted the XFL's strategy comes as smaller entities generally "go in eyes wide open relative to economics." He said, "They appropriately, in most cases, value exposure over anything. That's a great place to start if you're an emerging sport property because the money will come."