45.4 million watched the draft

Last year, nearly 40 million people watched the draft when it was confined to Saturday and Sunday.  This year, the number shot up by more than five million, thanks to the new three-day format.

In all, more than 45.4 million people watched at least one minute of the draft on NFL Network, ESPN, and/or ESPN2.

Over the past nine years, that number has mushroomed.  In 2001, only 23.5 million watched at least a sliver of the draft.

The magnitude of the numbers indicates that the new prime-time approach likely is here to stay.

43 responses to “45.4 million watched the draft

  1. That’s okay with me. I kind of liked it.
    Although it was the draft. They probably could have made it mandatory for me to wear nipple clamps and eat vegetarian food and I would have loved it.

  2. If Sam Bradford was guaranteed a dollar for every person who watched that draft, well, he’d……….

  3. seems like it’s a lower number then if you consider the 3rd day… not sure if “mushrooming” is quite accurate here.

  4. the only problem with ESPN’s coverage of the draft is that they didn’t actually show the draft. too much useless commentary. not enough information. i don’t care what Pete Carrol thinks about the draft. just show me who’s being picked.

  5. “watched at least one minute of the draft on NFL Network, ESPN, and/or ESPN2”
    at least 1 minute? That’s how the ratings are made? There’s probably plenty of people who watched for a minute, decided it wasn’t up their alley, and changed it…but not in my household. There might have been 1 minute when it wasn’t on the draft… and that was only to check the Yankees scores.

  6. Anytime you can get 45.4 million people to watch a guy reading names off of cards they are handed, and watch other guys talk about and describe the “action” you are a friggin genius.

  7. I agree mission, and another thing is what was on ESPN last year Thurs. and Friday nights that got bumped by draft coverage? Something more than 5 million watched? ‘Cause if so, this was a complete wash for the network at least.

  8. Just because a lot of people watched it for at least a minute, doesnt make it good. Thursday night was awful, dreadful, horrible. Gruden has gotta go, he spent more time looking into the monitor to make sure he was frowning. Jackson’s mic didnt work most of the night. Berman was seen several times waving angrily at the camera. Not near enough highlights of the players. Trey and his group did a far better job when it was their turn. Worst draft coverage ever. NFL network was much better.

  9. Agree with you Boudin. That’s why I watched NFL Network..
    Still don’t understand why both networks insist on killing the suspense and telling you the pick before it gets announced. Its freaking ridiculous. They have cameras focused on the draft card turn in area that can read names, and then they announce it to the audience like they are guessing. Except every time they were dead right. Absurd.

  10. Boudin,
    I totally agree. I understood the stuff late on Saturday but they missed a bunch of second and third round picks with banter and interviews. Its not that hard to cut to the commish for 8 seconds every 5 minutes!!

  11. saturday was a 15 year tradition with my family and friends. we had a BQ and had a few drinks. it was a great day. thanks for ruining our day

  12. I agree with what Boudin said. Too much commentary on when Clausen and/or McCoy would be drafted and not enough commentary and analysis on the current team picking, their needs, etc.
    There was also too much of Tebow and thank God he got picked in the 1st round because if he lasted to the 4th round, like he should have, it would have been nauseating. to say the least.
    I still like the draft better the way they used to do it. I bet a lot of the viewership on Thursday night had to do with the potential trade of Roethlisberger since that was posted on here relentlessly.

  13. @ Boudin….I agree with you. They would go back and forth trying to see who knew more like anyone really cared. I rather see highlights of the players and the names called instead of Kiper Jr running is mouth.

  14. They need to stop showing the player on the phone before the pick….starting to ruin it.

  15. Worst coverage ever!!!! More video highlights, less pointless commentary!!!

  16. What I hated about both network’s coverage was when a team traded up/down, they often times didn’t show you the details of the trade. It used to be they’d flip to a new screen showing what both team a and team b traded. Not this year. Both networks had too many people on the coverage looking for too much face time.

  17. Boudin says:
    April 26, 2010 5:14 PM
    the only problem with ESPN’s coverage of the draft is that they didn’t actually show the draft. too much useless commentary. not enough information. i don’t care what Pete Carrol thinks about the draft. just show me who’s being picked.
    man i realized that day why i hate ESPN boring ass coverage
    and showing the damn player on the phone totally took away the suspense from it

  18. I hated the 3 day format the 1st round seems so short….They should do day 1 = rnds 1 & 2 day 2 = rnds 3 & 4 and day 3 = rnds 5-7

  19. THE NUMBERS ARE UP-LET SEE-NO DRAFT PARTY ON SATURDAY-DO U THINK THE NUMBERS R HIGHER BECAUSE OF THAT? YES-UNLESS THEY THINK EVERONE WAS WATCHING THE DRAFT ON THERE ON LITTLE TV OR I POD ON SATURDAYS?OF COURSE THERE GOING TO BE HIGHER.DUH THE THING THEY MISSED OUT ON IS THE JERSEY SALES,COLLECTIBLES,AND AUTOGRAPHS-WAIT I COULD HAVE BROUGHT MY UNDER AGE SON TO A BAR WHERE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF PLAYERS ON THURSDAY NIGHT-BRILLIANT MOVE-JUST LIKE THE PRO BOWL-BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL-ANOTHER GREAT MOVE-

  20. I’m surprised, seeing how boring the draft is to watch. I can see watching up to the 2nd round, which is still boring but, really, all 7? Thats nuts.

  21. Wonder how many of those 45.4 million saw Deon Sanders and thought he was in the least bit entertaining or informative. The guy is just a waste of air when he’s on.
    Yeah, the draft would be a whole lot better if they showed film of the actual players rather than having too many people in a studio bloviate.

  22. And stop letting the players dance while showing their bio….That got played out real quick…
    Save the dancing for when y’all “Make It Rain” at your favorite hometown strip club.

  23. I liked the 3 day draft but I do agree with other people about taking away the surprise. I hated everytime the NFL network went over the Jason La Canfora because I knew he would spoil the surprise of the pick.
    I also hated how many friggin times they went to commercial. It was like they spent 2 minutes on the draft and then went to a commercial.
    I am so done with that damn Verizon commercial now.

  24. ESPN’s coverage blows! Literally, a bunch of blowhards talking over each other. Nobody cares what these dimwits are rambling about. They need to STFU and tell us about the picks.
    Anybody that actually watches the draft wants to know about team needs and especially about who is being picked & some film on the guy if they have it.
    I’ll spend the next year begging my cable company to get NFL Network.

  25. Best thing was splitting it into a 3 day format, actually made it more exciting.
    Still couldn’t watch much of it, but stayed up to date with my Sprint smart phone.

  26. The numbers “mushroomed” thanks to the NFL Network. Now that we don’t have to watch BSPN’s garbage coverage, the draft is much more interesting to watch.

  27. ESPN IS GARBAGE….NFL NETWORK IS OH-KAY…. NFL SIRIUS RADIO AND ANY LIVE FEED MUTED IS THE BEST!!

  28. They need to at least make the first night the first and second round, I liked the second night far better because there was actual drafting going on and not so much blather.
    Thursday: 1 & 2
    Friday: 3 & 4
    Saturday: 5-7
    I will live with the rest of it if they will at least make it watchable.
    Also totally agree that NFL networks coverage was miles better, I can imagine that was intentional though.

  29. I didn’t watch it this year. Watching Jerry Jones and Fat Ass Wade in the War Room was enough to make me skip it this year.

  30. The new primetime schedule was awesome but like Boudin and everyone else has said…. The useless commentary almost made it unbareable. I was constantly flipping between ESPN and NFL Network just to see who was less boring. SHOW THE HIGHLIGHTS AND SHOW THE TEAM NEEDS!!!
    And please just let the commish read the selection. I litterally put it on mute everytime they showed Jason Le Con Fora (or whatever) tell us who the pick would be. Talk about spoiling Christmas.

  31. # omegalh says: April 26, 2010 5:29 PM
    They need to stop showing the player on the phone before the pick….starting to ruin it.
    i agree!!!!!

  32. That doesn’t seem like an improvement, only 5 million more watched it (the one minute standard is absolutely stupid btw) now spread over 3 days and into weekday primetime? Given the amount of press and advertisement put into the draft this year (and the NFL’s overall increasing ratings) that sounds like a failure of concept to me.

  33. The new format is better than the old format. Although only 5 million more people watched, I’m sure more of the viewers watched more of the draft than in years past.
    In past years, it was tough to sit through the second day. I actually watched every pick since it was offered in smaller doses.

  34. 40 milion over two days = 20 million per day.
    45.4 million over three days = 15.1 million per day.
    So did viewership really “shoot up?”
    As for the coverage:
    1. Billick was great on the NFL Network on Friday. Mack Brown brought some interesting insight on Saturday. So did Corey Chavous.
    2. What a kick in the groin for Mayock to lose his voice. I wish he would have coughed on Berman and Suzy Kolber, who was dressed like a $200 an hour hooker.
    3. NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora needs a muzzle. He ruined most of the first round by giving out picks before they were actually announced.
    4. Goodell needs to sit down with ESPN and the NFL Network and work out a hand-shake agreement so both won’t announce picks before they are made.

  35. I love the New Format. NFL NETWORK(I don’t watch ESPN) has to improve on following the draft and not falling behind. Too often, they’d get behind and just give up and start bullshitting.
    It’s like they forget the draft is happening right behind them!
    1st round Great,
    2nd round Very Good
    4th round Good
    All the other rounds, they gave up on.

  36. well ya.. less people per day watched it
    big success
    maybe if they stretched it out every day for a month, 52 million people will have watched it for at least one minute.
    let’s do it!!!

  37. I have watched the draft religiously for a number of years now and I will likely NOT be watching it next year. It was absolutely boring this year and looooooooooong.
    I started out with NFL channel and between Dion Sanders and Jason who cares, along the phone cams, it got pretty bad.
    It was especially bad for me because I follow the Vikings and after waiting all damn night for their pick, they traded out to the next day right at the end of the draft. It was like having going to bed with Charlize Theron and having ED when her clothes came off.
    I enjoyed a more condensed format and doing it in the weekend afternoon. Next year I will be watching Kitchen Nightmares not NFL nightmares on Thursday and Friday night.

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