Following a last-ditch effort Wednesday to coerce the WB and UPN to provide XFL coverage, WWF chairman Vince McMahon and NBC–owners of the XFL–announced Thursday that the rookie football league is closing operations. Launched in February, the XFL coverage on NBC Saturday nights drew strong ratings in its first weekend but soon plummeted, forcing NBC executives to pull the plug, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The bottom line is that we didn’t deliver what [the audience] wanted to see,” said NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol. “They came, but they just didn’t come back.” The WWF has lost an estimated $35 million on the XFL thus far.