The United Football League will be back this fall, and it will be on national TV.
CBS Sports Network will televise the financially strapped UFL, announcing Thursday the sides agreed to what appears to be a multiyear contract and throwing a lifeline when serious questions were raised about the league's continued viability.
"In our fourth year, to be associated with CBS Sports is great, and we needed it badly," Las Vegas Locomotives coach Jim Fassel said.
Questions remain, though answers should arrive in the following days.
The season opens Sept. 19, but the schedule is not completed. Fassel said it should be released in a week or so. According to the news release, the season will last eight weeks, with the championship game played in late November.
The number of league franchises hasn't been disclosed, but that is expected to be announced as early as today.
Five teams are expected to play, the Review-Journal reported in April. In addition to Las Vegas, the UFL returns defending champion Virginia, Omaha and Sacramento and is expected to add an expansion team. San Antonio appeared to be the front-runner for the fifth club.
The UFL's deal with CBS Sports Network isn't a surprise since word surfaced three months ago that it was in the works. But it's still great news for a league that lost more than $120 million over three years.
"We're very happy to partner with CBS Sports Network in bringing the UFL's games to football-hungry fans everywhere," UFL acting chairman Bill Mayer said in a statement. "CBS Sports has always been identified with excellence in its presentation of football, and the UFL promises to extend that reputation by putting a great product on the field."
Fassel said the league still needs to improve some areas, such as marketing, but the network deal is crucial.
"The great thing is CBS wants us, and they're interested," Fassel said. "People like to watch football on television. It's been hard for our fans to follow a lot of times."
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.