Charlie Ebersol, the director of a documentary on the XFL that aired on ESPN a year ago, announced his own league, the Alliance of American Football, in New York City on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
Charlie Ebersol, the documentary filmmaker and son of longtime tv executive Dick Ebersol, announced Tuesday the AAF will play its inaugural season next year, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. The season will run 10 weeks and will have 50-man teams. The first game and the championship game will air on CBS, while one game a week will air on CBS Sports Network. Other games will be available on the league's app, which Ebersol said promises to integrate live fantasy play into the broadcasts.
Ebersol has also enlisted former National Football League general manager, Bill Polian. Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will manage the player side and former USC standout and executive J.K. McKay will run the team side.
Former NFL linebacker Jared Allen is an investor and will also work with players.
"This [spring football] is a massive gap in the market", founder Charlie Ebersol said in a news conference. Former NFL player Justin Tuck will also serve with the league as a player of engagement board of advisor. The last league to successfully compete against the NFL was the American Football League back in the 60s and they had to spend a considerable amount of money and take on a lot of risk for over a decade to get a merger with the NFL. "We're looking for those Kurt Warners working in grocery stores and we think we will find them".
In an interesting twist of fate, Charlie Ebersol directed an episode of the ESPN docuseries "30 For 30" on why the XFL failed.
"We believe fans and players are what's most important, so our approach is simple - we've created an Alliance where fans and players share in the success of their teams", Ebersol said in a statement. "We have to be able to take advantage of the people who just stop playing fantasy when the National Football League season ends". In addition, the game will be streamlined for television, with no TV timeouts and 60% fewer commercials, no kickoffs and no onside kicks. A couple interesting changes designed with fan interest in mind are two-point conversions replacing extra points and a sped up play clock compared to the NFL's usual 40 seconds. By then, two more pro leagues will enter your life. The Alliance of American Football was announced earlier today in a press release. The AAF will debut on February 9, 2019, the week after Super Bowl LIII, and run 10 weeks before its championship game, which will be televised on CBS.