XFL Hurts 'SNL'

09/23/1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

Saturday's second broadcast of the XFL Football League proved a disaster for NBC, which saw the game's ratings plunge and the program itself run late, which in turn hurt the ratings performance of the popular "Saturday Night Live" -- which did not hit the airwaves until nearly 45 minutes after its scheduled start time. "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels is said to be infuriated by having suffered fallout from the XFL disaster, reports The New York Times, and network executives (already outraged themselves by a power failure that occurred just before kickoff which caused nearly 90 seconds of dead air) are trying to placate him. Additionally, said The Times, NBC is looking into ways to shorten XFL games and to woo back viewers. In other football news announced on Monday, the NFL was awarded $2.6 million in damages by a New York federal court that agreed that PrimeTime24 illegally transmitted the league's TV broadcasts into Canada. Attorneys for PrimeTime24 did not return phone calls to the Associated Press, which sought comment.

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