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The XFL and USFL American football leagues have officially declared their intention to merge.

It follows reports from earlier in September that stated the two parties had been negotiating terms to combine their leagues.

The two minor leagues, both of which play in the spring to avoid clashing with the top-tier NFL season, struggled for viewership in their 2023 campaigns.

The USFL is owned by global media giant Fox Corporation, while the XFL is owned by a group consisting of actor and former American football player Dwayne Johnson, US businesswoman Dany Garcia, and private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners.

The XFL and the USFL said in a joint statement that the merged league will “establish best-in-class operations based on the most recent seasons of both leagues.”

The statement continues: “This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together.”

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By GlobalData

Any merger will be subject to regulatory approvals prior to the completion of the transaction.

NFL alternatives have a history of short lifespans, with the XFL itself already having been scrapped twice before after single seasons.

A merger may help to mitigate this, however, there are still questions about the appetite for American football in the NFL offseason from the general public.

GlobalData Sport has approached the XFL for comment.