Dwayne Johnson's XFL Signs TV Deal With Disney, ESPN

The Rock's XFL lands a broadcasting deal stretching from 2023 to 2027.

The Rock XFL
WWE/XFL

The latest step in Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's attempted XFL revival has been taken, with the league landing a new broadcasting deal with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN.

43 annual XFL games will air across ABC, ESPN, and FX through this contract, which stretches from the upcoming 2023 season through 2027. Content will also be distributed across ESPN and Disney's digital, social media, and direct-to-consumer platforms.

The XFL's latest season is set to commence on 18 February 2023. Revived by its original creator Vince McMahon in 2018, the league was bought out by Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia for around $15 million in August 2020.

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Check out the XFL's official press release below.

XFL ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE MULTI-YEAR BROADCAST AGREEMENT WITH THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY AND ESPN

XFL games will be featured on a combination of ABC, ESPN networks and FX

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The XFL will officially kick off on Saturday, February 18, 2023

Agreement includes exclusive rights to produce and distribute XFL games and tentpole events through 2027

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NEW YORK – May 17, 2022 – The XFL today announced a new, global multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company (“TWDC”) and ESPN, which includes exclusive broadcast rights for all gameday content, tentpole events and more, for its upcoming 2023 season through 2027. 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 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, 2023.

The announcement was revealed today at the Disney Upfront, where XFL owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson were in attendance and presented the news.

“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,” said Dany Garcia, Chairwoman of the XFL. “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.”

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

Dwayne Johnson added, “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. 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.”

Gerry Cardinale said, “With today’s announcement, the XFL has launched a truly innovative partnership with The Walt Disney Company and its world-class platforms across media, culture, sports and entertainment. It is a privilege to join forces with the incredibly talented team at Disney and ESPN and bring Dany and Dwayne’s vision for world-class football and live event entertainment to our fans and players.”

For more information, visit XFL.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About XFL

The XFL’s ownership group, led by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale's RedBird Capital Partners, is building a fan-first, fast-paced global professional football league with innovative rules and enhanced 360 game experience. The XFL will bring entertainment to world class football, with the goal of advancing the game of football and expanding player opportunities when it launches in February 2023.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.