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42 million watched at least one minute of the draft

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Despite the stutter-step lockout and the drop in NFL interest and activity, the 2011 draft generated the second-highest total audience in league history, with 42 million people tuning in for at least one minute, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

It’s impressive under the circumstances, but that number needs to be compared to a number we’ll never know — the full size of the audience if the league weren’t mired in a work stoppage.

Our guess is that a non-lockout total audience would have checked in at 50 million or more, especially since the total audience for 2010 checked in at 45.4 million.  In 2009, 39 million watched at least a minute of the proceedings.

The NFL had been on a continuous upward trajectory for an extended period of time.  And while a locked-out league performed fairly well during the draft, the second best isn’t good enough for a business that continuously had been setting the bar higher and higher.

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25 Responses to “42 million watched at least one minute of the draft”
  1. sdboltaction says: May 2, 2011 1:56 PM

    Damn, a whole 42 people!

  2. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 2, 2011 1:56 PM

    42 people. Wow, that’s alot!

  3. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 2, 2011 1:57 PM

    42 people. Those were just agents. They don’t count.

  4. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 2, 2011 1:58 PM

    The 42 watchers were just bailbondsmen doing their homework on future clients

  5. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 2, 2011 2:00 PM

    42 criminal attorneys checking out their future clientele

  6. chc4 says: May 2, 2011 2:00 PM

    If viewership goes down then perhaps the NFL will see lagging revenues next year for commercials sold during the draft. That results in a smaller (albeit slightly) pie for the players. No one wins.

  7. mackie66 says: May 2, 2011 2:04 PM

    Let me get this straight. The NFL believes 42 million watching the, two day draft for 1 minute as a good sign? What if the 42 million checked in just in time for a commercial ? If 42 million watched for 30 min to an hour the NFL might have something to brag about.
    Lets watch the lockout !!

  8. dequan81 says: May 2, 2011 2:07 PM

    Only PFT assumed/wanted there to be a severe drop of interest and ratings.

  9. yzguy431 says: May 2, 2011 2:10 PM

    maybe that tells us something about the nfl’s audience.

  10. bammer1 says: May 2, 2011 2:19 PM

    funny thing that minute was probably only when their team was drafting like me. I was watching the twins and other shows tell my vikings picked ponder and that was my minute. thats only time i watched was when vikes picked.

  11. touchdownroddywhite says: May 2, 2011 2:21 PM

    I streamed that ish from a camera feed on some unauthorized website. Keep messing with me NFL, I’m getting more serious as time goes on. I’ll just enjoy your product without you enjoying any of the benefit of me enjoying your product, monetary or otherwise.

    And please, dear NFL do not be so naive as to think that you can stop me or anybody like me. We are determined, resourceful and increasingly scorned.

    Tech Savvy NFL fan

  12. groomerofthestool says: May 2, 2011 2:25 PM

    I have to give the draft coverage a B- / C+. Both the NFL network & ESPN were great the 1st night. After that they just kept regurgitating the same analysis over & over. I had to shut it off after a while. Both networks needs more content & less commercials. Maybe next year you could give a little more information on the kids selected who were not in Kiper or Mayock’s top ten list.

  13. drcap says: May 2, 2011 2:25 PM

    I think the numbers might be low. They do not take into account all the people like myself who attended to the draft via alternative modalities. For example, I watched the first round by listening to the radio, and flipping “channels” on my computer between and

    That way, I didn’t have to listen to Mel

  14. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 2, 2011 2:27 PM

    Thanks for finally correcting the total.
    42 million sounds more like it. But clarifying your initial error while you correct your mistake would show more professionalism, than just rewording with no correction reference

  15. narutofan10 says: May 2, 2011 2:28 PM

    that was probably in the first round with the lockout already lifted goodell is so full of crap someone should of thrown a rock at his head

  16. rockinron2 says: May 2, 2011 2:49 PM

    In a related release, the league also said 41,999,999 million people booed Goodell while watching the draft (all except his wife?).

  17. savocabol1 says: May 2, 2011 3:00 PM

    “For at least one min”

    You have got to be kidding me. This is how they determine how good the ratings are? One min is nothing. Sounds like cooked up numbers to make it seem like people were actually watching.

  18. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: May 2, 2011 3:13 PM

    Is that for both networks or just ESPN? Because I watched ESPN for one minute and NFL Network the rest of the draft.

  19. Topher says: May 2, 2011 3:42 PM

    I watched part of it on ESPN and part of it on NFLN… did I count twice?

  20. thingamajig says: May 2, 2011 3:44 PM

    I actually watched for 1 1/2 minutes but when they called to check on me I turned off the TV real quick.

  21. Topher says: May 2, 2011 3:49 PM

    The ESPN/NFLN question is a good one. How many more televisions show NFLN this year as opposed to years past?

    We could be talking about a very significant number.

    A quick google just showed me a 50% increase in households that carry NFLN from last years draft to this years draft. From roughly 50m to 75m.

    Its possible that up to 25m more people watched it on both networks from 2011 compared to 2010. That would show a significant drop in total viewership.

  22. endzonezombie says: May 2, 2011 4:38 PM

    This fact is as significant as us knowing that 45 million men last at least one minute during sex.

  23. thefiesty1 says: May 2, 2011 4:49 PM

    I watched a lot of it on all three days. It was about as usual except for the jerks booing the commissioner. I had to keep watching to see if Cleveland was ever going to get Colt some help instead of continuing to take defensive players and accumulating picks for next year. Now I’ll have to watch again next year.

  24. blackcatnfl says: May 2, 2011 5:11 PM

    I spent one minute fast-forwarding through the entire draft, does that count?

  25. adamb103 says: May 2, 2011 6:07 PM

    made up number

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