United States Football League (1982-1987)
Created as an alternative to the National Football League (NFL), and not as their rival, USFL played for three seasons in the spring/summer schedule. Michigan Panthers were the first USFL champions, followed by Philadelphia Stars, who also won the final USFL championship as Baltimore Stars. In 1986, after deciding to compete with the NFL, USFL filed an antitrust lawsuit against NFL, and were rewarded only $3 for their victory. Till then, they had lost over $163 million.
Inaugurated a year after it was founded, following NFL's Super Bowl, XFL took off with a boom with 14 million viewers watching their first game between New York/New Jersey Hitmen and Las Vegas Outlaws, on NBC, drawing 9.5 Nielsen Rating. The viewership showed a sharp decline just a week after, starting to drop to 4.6, and then lastly to 1.5, which was the lowest ever for any major prime time weekend first-run sports television broadcast in the United States.
World Football League (1973-1975)
The World Football League was another short-lived American football league, started by Gary Davidson, who had helped the start of the American Basketball and World Hockey Association. The league played in 1974 and a part of 1975. Their ambition was to bring American football to the world. But the farthest they could get placing a team was the Hawaiians in Honolulu, Hawaii.
American Basketball League (1996-1998)
The American Basketball League was formed along with the NBA's Women's National Basketball Association due to the increasing popularity of women's basketball in the States following the victory of the United States Women basketball team in the 1996 Summer Olympics. This league, which was formed to provide place to female athletes who excelled in basketball, lasted only two seasons, before folding in December 22, 1998, citing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and suspended operations.
American Basketball Association (1967-1976)
ABA was a major league professional basketball league formed in 1967 to compete with the National Basketball Association, until their forced merger in 1976. George Mikan, a former star player in the NBA, was the first commissioner of this league. ABA fielded 11 teams in its first season, acquiring a huge number of fan following due to its wide-open style of play.
Basketball Association of America (1946-1949)
BAA was formed on June 6, 1946 by a group of like-minded businessman, who met at Commodore Hotel in New York. The league began with 11 teams, the Philadelphia Warriors winning the first match in 1947. After the third season in 1948-49, BAA merged with National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Women's United Soccer Association (2000-2003)
Founded in February 2000, WUSA was the first women's soccer league. This league played its first season in April 2001 with eight teams, before it folded shortly after its third season in September 2003, It incurred losses to the tune of around $100 million.
Federal League of Base Ball Clubs (1913-1915)
Known simply as the Federal League, this American professional baseball league was founded in 1913 by John. T. Powers. It was the third major league, and competed with the established National and American Leagues from 1914 to 1915, before folding in 1915 due to the intervention of the National and American Leagues.
Elite Xtreme Combat (2006-2008)
A partnership between Showtime Networks and ProElite, EliteXC was a US-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization owned and operated by ProElite. It was officially declared in 2006, but its first major event happened in 2007. In 2008, a prominent fighter lost via an early knockout to a late replacement fighter, attracting huge attention with him confessing about being paid a bonus to employ certain techniques during the fight. Following the probe, ProElite declared that they would quit working.
Indian Cricket League (2008-2009)
A private cricket league operated by Zee Entertainment Enterprises functioned between 2007 and 2009, and included 4 international teams and 9 domestic teams. This league was not supported by the International Cricket Council, and players were banned from playing for their countries. The leagues future started looking dark when players were taken back to play international matches, resulting in many players dropping out of ICL, including famous players like Shane Bond and Abdul Razzaq.