Big weekend for TV networks, gamblers

How rules differ from NFL, including shootout OT format

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The inaugural weekend of the XFL reboot has wrapped up.

There will be much that the league will want to learn from as it tries to grow and become a viable spring professional football league to compete with and flourish alongside the NFL. All eight teams in the league played this weekend with two games Saturday and two Sunday. The D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, New York Guardians and St. Louis BattleHawks each won their games.

That means the Seattle Dragons, Los Angeles Wildcats, Tampa Bay Vipers and Dallas Renegades will have nine more chances in the regular season to turn things around before the playoffs.

But before that, here are the winners and losers of the inaugural weekend.

WINNERS

Networks

According to numbers released by ABC, the kickoff game between the Dragons and the Defenders drew an average of 3.3 million viewers. Perhaps an even better sign for the league and for the network partners – ABC/ESPN and Fox – was that the kickoff audience peaked with an audience of 4.0 million at the end of the broadcast, an indication that viewers stayed interested throughout the game. The now-defunct AAF had similarly high numbers for its opening kickoff weekend. Now it’s on the XFL to give fans a reason to stay.



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