The announcement of the XFL's relaunch earlier this year received a ton of publicity, and rightfully so. Vince McMahon's efforts to revive his once failed football league to get hungry football fans something to watch in the traditional offseason was not without risk.
Competition was probably not a risk that was on McMahon or the XFL's radar. And it's coming fast.
It was announced on Tuesday via Variety that another football league will be launching one year from now, one week after the 2019 Super Bowl, which is a full calendar year before the XFL's reboot. Not only that, but the league has already signed a television contract with CBS Sports and will be run by Charlie Ebersol, who directed the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary that aired on the XFL last year.
Charlie is the son of Dick Ebersol, former NBC executive who was involved with the original XFL and is a longtime friend of McMahon's. Dick will reportedly be part of the board of the new football league that will reportedly be called the Alliance of American Football.
"Under its deal with the AAF, CBS will air league matchups beginning with the Feb. 9, 2019, season opener and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, with one regular-season game airing each week exclusively on CBS Sports Network.
The AAF will have a 10-week regular season and four-team playoff. To speed up gameplay, the league will institute a play clock shorter than the NFL's 40-second break, have fewer ad breaks, and require two-point conversion tries after every touchdown."
The league has also announced that they will stream all games for free via an online application. They are promoting the fact that they will eliminate kickoffs due to concussion concerns, will pay bonuses to players based on winning, and will have family friendly pricing on tickets.
Former NFL players are reported to be in talks to join the league, though no cities have officially been unveiled yet in regards to teams.
While this announcement is welcome among football teams, McMahon can't be too pleased about another league stealing his thunder a year ahead of the XFL relaunch. Given the television contract already in place with CBS and the big names already flocking to the league, the XFL certainly has some competition on their hands.