"WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon will make a major sports announcement today at 3 p.m. ET, streaming live from the digital platforms of his new enterprise, Alpha Entertainment", WWE said on Thursday.
Plans for the XFL at launch include eight teams, 40-man active rosters and a 10-week regular-season schedule, with a postseason consisting of two semifinal playoff games and a championship game.
While no cities have been identified for potential teams, McMahon said all teams would be owned by the league and would not be individual franchises.
It will be called the XFL, the same name of the league McMahon and NBC tried for one season in 2001, but it won't rely on flashy cheerleaders and antics as its predecessor did, he said. Many players in the NFL have criminal records and commit crimes while participating in the league. McMahon said players in his league will not be given the forum to take a personal stance while on the playing field. Interesting McMahon said that there will be "no crossover whatsoever from WWE", considering that the "old" XFL had WWE commentators and featured appearances from many WWE Superstars and McMahon. "We are going to try to get to two hours".
"The quality of the human being is just as important as the quality of the player", he said. "I'm extremely fortunate to know that I have the ability to be able to do this". They want to deliver good football.
"As far as our league is concerned, it will have nothing to do with politics", McMahon said.
This could be a gimmick-free XFL, perhaps without nicknames such as Rod Smart's "He Hate Me" stitched on the back of his uniform.
There are no distribution contracts lined up, McMahon said, though he pledged XFL games will be available to stream on "big screens, mobile devices and everything in between".
While speaking about the league, it was clear that McMahon was selling a very different version of the XFL than was initially pitched and broadcast for one failed season in 2001. McMahon said the schedule, created to fill the seven-month gap without the National Football League, could begin as early as the end of January. We pride ourselves in taking a deeper look into the fighter, and understanding what makes them tick. He wants to give football back to he fans, and will talk with fans, players, coaches, and medical professionals to help re-imagine football. According to McMahon, the football games will be "shorter, faster-paced and family friendly". The league has been rumored to return for quite some time ever since WWE filed to trademark the XFL name a few months back.
There are "so many more opportunities that were never there before", said McMahon.
It could be the right time for a rival to the National Football League, which has suffered from sagging ratings and a storm of negative attention over player anthem protests at the start of the current season.