Date: 19th February 2001

Penalty On The Play?

Ratings for Saturday night's XFL game on NBC between the Los Angeles Xtreme and the Las Vegas Outlaws plummeted for the second week in a row, falling well below the 4.5 rating that advertisers were promised.

The 3.8 rating/7 share was 25.5 percent lower than the previous week's and 63 percent lower than the debut broadcast on Feb. 3, according to Nielsen Research. In reporting on the ratings dive, the Associated Press observed Sunday that it mirrored what occurred to the now-defunct USFL in 1983 -- on an accelerated basis.

As promised, Saturday's game ended before 11:00 p.m. and therefore did not force a delay of Saturday Night Live as it did last week. Cameron Blanchard, an NBC Sports spokeswoman, told Bloomberg News: "We made adjustments, and they have alleviated the overrun problems."

Source: Studio Briefing