NFL boasts big ratings for prime time draft

NFL fans voted with their remote controls on Thursday night and declared that they approve of the league’s decision to move the first round of the draft into prime time.

League spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted Friday morning that draft TV ratings are up 30 percent from last year, when the first round started at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, and up 55 percent from 2008, when the first round started at 3 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.

We haven’t yet seen a breakdown of how ESPN and NFL Network fared individually, or a number on the total viewers who tuned in. But suffice to say, the NFL is declaring the first round a success.

Which means you can expect to see the draft in prime time every year going forward.

27 responses to “NFL boasts big ratings for prime time draft

  1. even though the faithful will always watch the NFL Draft … the format – – – SUCKs “BigTime”

  2. Worst part of the draft coverage on both networks was having the suspense of the pick totally ruined by showing the guy getting the call on the phone.
    I don’t remember it being as bad in past years.

  3. Maybe we’ll get lucky and this will be the last draft Mel Kiper sits at the table. What value did he add really? Sometimes you can get addition from subtraction…I’m just saying…

  4. “That’s it folks, NFL draft week, 2015 is a wrap, as we complete round 7. Sure seems more than a week ago when we met here for the first round, as the last couple rounds on the last couple days, have really dragged out.”.

  5. More casual fans watched, but I’d bet most hardcore fans would prefer that it stay on the weekend.

  6. Yep they did well; they went to commericals after every 2-3 picks. I must have saw the nfl films spot a dozen times last nite.

  7. Glad to hear it if for no other reason then to shut up Colin CowTERD. He was wineing yesterday rateings wouldnt be as big as everyone (NFL) though because women wouldn’t allow guys to watch it…..

  8. WarrenMoonGOAT says:
    April 23, 2010 10:53 AM
    Suzie Colbert looked good last night
    Not in HD she didn’t! lots of pancake on here.

  9. Nice article if there were any useful information in it. Up 30 percent? Really? You mean more mean more people watch prime time thursday night TV than middle of a saturday? No kidding? Maybe show the normal rates of how much jump you should expect to see from moving a saturday program to prime time, maybe stats show that they can get 40 percent increases on average, which means 30 percent is all of a sudden not impressively noteworthy. Awful article guys. What a waste of an opportunity for a good read and some actual science and education with respect to how TV works together with the NFL. You guys set the bar so low with the opportunity you have to cover so many interesting things from so many different angles. Wake up PFT and start paying attention.

  10. I absolutely hate this new format. It sucked ass just as I thought it would. Next year, I’m boycotting the whole thing.

  11. Once again I give thanks for having NFL Network
    a Kiper, Berman etc free zone.
    JustDieBaby why do you listen to that clown? Seriously why?

  12. Mel Kiper stutters like porky pig , when incorrect . These days it`s all the time ( Fire That Dude Already ) , ESPN has gone downhill with these so called experts . Thank goodness for other outlets .

  13. They need less guys commentating on ESPN. Young and Gruden were excellent. Next year, let’s just have those two and maybe one more (new) defensive expert. Bermann, Kiper, and McShay were useless.

  14. same number of people watched but instead of going to a draft party on a saturday afternoon , people stayed home and watched the draft . you suck roger goodell

  15. Right F’n on ClevJoe! Stop ruining the suspense! I don’t give a crap about watching the kid hug his family! And enough of LaCanfora ruining it 1 min before the pick. Why does the media think we care who found out the pick 1 min early? Keep the suspense going!

  16. ClevJimbo says:
    April 23, 2010 10:47 AM
    Worst part of the draft coverage on both networks was having the suspense of the pick totally ruined by showing the guy getting the call on the phone.
    I don’t remember it being as bad in past years.
    I agree. This has been an annoying trend in the coverage for years. I much prefer it when the analysts would have to stick their necks out with a prediction and you really wouldn’t have an idea who a team was picking until the commissioner announced it. Now you have some nerd on the floor of the draft room get tipped off while the analysts are still talking about the last pick and the whole announcement by the commissioner is a waste of time and there are ZERO surprises.

  17. As I flipped between watching Moyer pitch a gem in Atlanta and Boucher blank the Devil, I patiently waited for Andy to work his draft magic. Anyone that watched the entire draft without flipping to see how their non-NFL team was playing isn’t a true sports fan….

  18. We HAD TO watch ESPN from home, so I don’t know how the NFL Networks coverage looked.
    I Cannot Imagine why (on ESPN), they made the draftees jump up and down, mug with footballs and otherwise appear to be Utterly Brainless Morons, completely embarrassing themselves during some of the most important moments of their lives.
    The uncomfortable feeling I had watching, reminded me of the unacceptablly relentless blabbering of ESPN’s “football experts” trying to out-cute each other in the past. Their creepy fawning over untested college players was akin to their collective slobbering man-crush they displayed whenever Brett Favre went near a football last year.
    GOD, I can’t stand “cute” NFL commentators!

  19. As mentioned on KFAN this morning, the only thing that I really HATED about this format, was the fact that they spolied every pick by showing the guy on the phone well before the pick was announced. Way to kill the anticipation of that special moment, idiots!

  20. Mayock’s awesome. The NFL network guys were actually entertaining. Most of the time when there was a trade or surprise pick or w/e, Mayock got the next one right.
    When the Raiders were on the clock he said he wasn’t even going to make a pick because the Raiders are insane. That made me laugh. Then they picked McClain. Then I got angry. Lame. BOO!

  21. I’m not a fan of this new format, if for anything, I’m dead tired at work today watching the entire first round. Lucky it’s a slow day.
    I agree w/all those who mentioned about the camera shots. That made it quite anti-climatic, to say the least, for those picks.
    I don’t have NFL Network, so I’ve only ever seen ESPN’s coverage. It got really annoying listening to Boomer stammer over the trades the more they happened. Would have liked to heard the details instead of arguing.

  22. Hated the format, but no worries. Due to it being far shorter instead of turning it on and leaving it on all day just running in the background, the shorter format (being a beast to record a whole day on DVR in HD) allowed me to time shift it by an hour and skip all the commercials, so for that, thanks NFL.

  23. For everyone that doesn’t have NFL Network, you can watch their broadcast at Once you get past Deion Sanders, it’s an excellent broadcast.

  24. Ugh, I figured ratings would be high but what a terrible plan this is
    I wanted to see a 2nd round…not just 1 round

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