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ESPN Open To Working With New XFL Ownership, But Not Part Of XFL Assets

ESPN filed the following motion yesterday in regard to the sale of the XFL. The XFL was hoping their broadcast partnership would be part of its assets in its sale to a new buyer. ESPN filed a limited objection to that in court.

“ESPN entered into the Telecast Agreement and the PPIA based on the specific character and quality of certain professionals involved in creating and organizing the new XFL league, and promoting and producing XFL events. Their services, skills and talents are not fungible.”

ESPN made agreements based in part by individuals who were part of the XFL. Now that Vince McMahon, Oliver Luck, and others are no longer be part of the league, ESPN has objected to continuing the agreement.

This does not mean ESPN won’t be part of a new deal if it happens.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, and reserving all rights, ESPN does not necessarily seek to categorically prohibit assignment of the Telecast Agreement and the PPIA to any party; however, ESPN files this Limited Objection to protect its rights in the sale process. ESPN encourages the Debtor and bidders to confer with ESPN regarding the conditions under which ESPN might consent to assignment of the Telecast Agreement and the PPIA.”

You can see from the filing how much Vince McMahon‘s influence and background played a part in securing these TV deals.

“The image and ultimate success of the XFL are heavily linked to the efforts, resources, and reputation of Vincent McMahon. If Vincent McMahon and his team of professionals are not running the XFL enterprise, then a key consideration for the Telecast Case 20-10940-LSS Doc 252 Filed 06/30/20 Page 6 of 117 Agreement and the PPIA has disappeared, and ESPN cannot be compelled to join in a partnership with an assignee absent ESPN’s express consent.”

Vince McMahon’s name has been mentioned multiple times throughout the court filing.

“new XFL launch because of the reputation and business acumen of Vincent McMahon and individuals at Alpha Entertainment. As such, the agreements are personal service contracts that may not be assumed without the consent of ESPN.”

What this all means is ESPN reserves the right to reject the deal with a new XFL owner if the new ownership does not meet their standards. The question is, would it be in the leagues best interest to have McMahon back in the game to purchase the assets. With Vince, comes the ESPN partnership. Without that TV deal, the league would struggle to restart a 3.0 version.

The first bids for the XFL are due this Friday, July 3rd. Stay with XFL News Hub as we follow the sale of the XFL.

Mark is the founder and editor of XFL News Hub. The site was started in January of 2018, within days of the announced return of the XFL. Contact him directly by emailing [email protected]

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