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ESPN expects draft ratings to be higher

We’ve wondered aloud lately if fan interest is down for this NFL Draft, and whether it will be reflected in the television ratings.

ESPN’s NFL Draft Producer Jay Rothman isn’t worried.  He said on a conference call he expects fan interest to be “tremendous” and thinks that ratings will be higher than ever this year.

The confidence is interesting.  There are certainly fewer people reading about the draft than usual, but there’s no telling if that will translate to reduced ratings.

We anticipate the NFL will get a loud and negative response from the fans in attendance at Radio City Music Hall during the draft, voicing their displeasure with the lockout.

We’ll have to wait and see if they get a loud response from fans when the ratings come out the next day.

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21 Responses to “ESPN expects draft ratings to be higher”
  1. dryheaveone says: Apr 19, 2011 12:56 PM

    I think ESPN is correct……people LOVE drafts (except if it’s military), be it real or fantasy. Trust me, their ratings will be fine.

  2. Kave Krew says: Apr 19, 2011 1:00 PM

    The first night will be higher ratings for sure…..the fans, ven though pissed off, will watch to see who their team picks and to see how the players react to The Commish.

    After each pick in Rd 1 , the rating go downwards until the end of the night.

  3. drcap says: Apr 19, 2011 1:04 PM

    I am just as interested as ever. We’ll be back to football as usual at some point. I would be interested to hear your readers chime in to this question:

    More, same, or less interested this year?

  4. hobartbaker says: Apr 19, 2011 1:06 PM

    Everything points to high interest. No clear cut first choice, lots of volitility at the top end, the quarterback questions around the league, the Newton/Gabbert subplot, the NFL/NFLPA PR showdown at the draft. Nothing else of consequence happening in football to compete for attention.

  5. yourrealmom says: Apr 19, 2011 1:10 PM

    Yeah Gruden may not have equaled a great QB coach..but having said that..its hard to make Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh*t

  6. crimhollingsworth says: Apr 19, 2011 1:27 PM

    Everyone that reads PFT will be watching the draft.

  7. eagles512 says: Apr 19, 2011 1:34 PM

    There’s no way ratings will be as high as last year. Some people won’t watch because they’re disgusted with the lockout and others won’t watch because they won’t even know when these guys will actually contribute to their team. The hardcore fans will still watch but I can’t see ratings matching last year.

  8. sterilizecromartie says: Apr 19, 2011 1:43 PM

    Ratings will absolutely be higher. Think about it. With the off-season activities and regular season in jeopardy, the draft may be the last relevant NFL “action” we see for a very, very long time. No player trades. No free agent acquisitions. No training camp. (Maybe) No season. The Draft is all that is left. I want to soak up every second of it.

  9. buccaboo says: Apr 19, 2011 2:13 PM

    It’s the ONLY NFL thing I’m interested in right now

  10. joe6606 says: Apr 19, 2011 2:21 PM

    Meh. I have never had lower interest in the draft.

    Yea! pick a player who will be immediately locked out, will have in all likelihood a substantially reduced preseason/preparatory time such that whenever the lockout does end, they will have essentially NO chance of doing anything other than holding a clipboard all season.


    The ONLY thing I’m interested in is watching Goodell get a verbal beatdown from the attending fans….wake me up when this nightmare of an offseason is over…

  11. vcstriker16 says: Apr 19, 2011 2:31 PM

    The idea that people are “disgusted” by the lockout and will therefore not watch the draft is ridiculous. Football fans love the draft, bottom line.

  12. rips08 says: Apr 19, 2011 2:39 PM

    I stopped watching the draft last year when they moved the first round from Saturday. The move ruined a day that I looked forward to all season. I don’t like the new format.

  13. buckybadger says: Apr 19, 2011 2:40 PM

    I hate the new draft format. I have a group of friends that would get together on that Saturday and do a huge BBQ party for the draft. The new format has ruined that completely.

  14. brownicus says: Apr 19, 2011 2:43 PM

    I won’t be watching the draft this year. I’m just going to follow PFT or other sites to see whats going on.

  15. hound32 says: Apr 19, 2011 2:44 PM

    BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT Everything NFL Until they get there heads out of there asses and straighten this mess out . i will not be watching .

  16. ravensfreak00 says: Apr 19, 2011 2:54 PM

    Don’t count on it.

  17. jlb10 says: Apr 19, 2011 3:09 PM

    i would consider myself a diehard nfl fan. i am on this and various sites throughout the day everyday. that being said i have very little interest in watching the draft this year. first i really don’t like the thursday night prime time format. for me there is nhl and nba playoffs to watch. more exciting and more action than the nfl draft. when it was strictly on sat/sun i watched pretty much every minute of it for those 2 days.
    as stated before there is no telling if these kids will contribute to our teams this year.

    i won’t be watching much coverage this year and i am not very excited about it

  18. 3octaveFart says: Apr 19, 2011 3:32 PM

    I wouldn’t expect many viewers from south of the Mason/Dixon.
    There’s a Hee-Haw marathon scheduled to run on CMT that weekend.

  19. jsratx says: Apr 19, 2011 3:36 PM

    Count me among those who will choose to do something else than sit and watch a non-sports, sports event. In years past, I set my clock by it and watched 80% of the coverage. Now – I couldn’t care less.

    The lockout + the Texans ineptitude = apathy.

  20. schmitty2 says: Apr 19, 2011 3:44 PM

    I will only watch out of curiosity to see what player might help my team in the 2012 season

  21. chc36 says: Apr 19, 2011 3:56 PM

    Ratings will definitely be higher, I know I’m not the only fan who is looking forward to the draft because its the first upbeat thing in the NFL at the moment, its a bright spot in the lockout darkness.

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