NFL Draft gets more coverage than ever with FOX, ABC broadcasts

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This year’s NFL Draft will draw more television coverage than ever before.

The NFL announced today that FOX will show the first three rounds of the draft and ABC will show Rounds 4-7, meaning the entire draft will air on broadcast television for the first time ever. That’s in addition to the traditional ESPN and NFL Network broadcasts, a new alternate broadcast on ESPN2, and a Spanish broadcast on ESPN Deportes.

FOX will simulcast NFL Network’s coverage, with FOX lead analyst Troy Aikman joining the broadcast for the first time. ESPN will have its usual broadcast in addition to a college-themed broadcast on ESPN2, and ABC will simulcast the ESPN draft show on the last day of the draft.

With all that TV coverage, this year’s NFL draft will almost certainly be the most-watched ever. It will also garner the highest attendance ever at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

The NFL has strategically positioned the draft as the major event of its offseason and the primary reason that football is essentially a year-round sport. ESPN helped the NFL build up the draft, but when FOX agreed to join with NFL Network’s coverage, that put a dent in ESPN’s draft dominance. Now ESPN is pushing back by pouring additional resources into the event. With two broadcast networks and four cable networks airing the draft, it’s now bigger than ever.

30 responses to “NFL Draft gets more coverage than ever with FOX, ABC broadcasts

  1. Can anybody please explain why the draft starts on a Thursday night instead of Friday?

    It makes for a late night during the work week to watch the entire first round.

    The last day of the draft is on Saturday why not bump everything back a day?

  2. I know I’m obviously in the minority based on TV ratings, but I prefer to watch the NHL playoffs on TV while tracking the draft on the computer.

  3. Since my Redskins usally draft between 15-32 (We’re a winning franchise) I just time it so that I wait til right before the pick, watch and then swiftly exit because I don’t care about the rest of the league and it’s boring.

    On Twitter you can also see who has been picked two minutes before the Goodell steps to the podium. Fix THAT First.

  4. logicalvoicesays says:

    On Twitter you can also see who has been picked two minutes before the Goodell steps to the podium. Fix THAT First.

    For once I agree with you!!

  5. Watching the draft is somewhere between watching paint dry and watching grass grow for an excitement level.

    Haven’t watched it in many years. All that’s needed is to check online a couple times a night and you see who got drafted in the space of a minute or two.

  6. Last year, I woke up super early before work to watch the “WTF!?” moment of the Bears bidding against no one to secure a guy they could have had anyway.

    Pace gave $8M a year to a third string TE a year after giving $6M a year to one and drafting one in the 2nd round, then giving $7M a year to a WR who has proven nothing in his long-enough-to-know-who-he-is career. Oh, and the Packers had to teach Pace Fuller’s value long term because he, apparently, couldn’t negotiate that one himself. (Thanks Gutekunst! Nice work!)

    I’m really not sure I want to watch Pace run another draft.

  7. @edenprairieballer

    I bash ESPN all the time but I do like their draft coverage. Kiper and McShay are draft nerds… what does Troy Aikman know about college prospects?

    Answer – nothing. Aikman needs to go away. He and Buck are horrible and that’s covering a league they have some knowledge of.

  8. I am interested in the ESPN2 broadcast, to see how exactly that plays out. I always flip between ESPN and NFL Network anyway. I can only take so much of any of the broadcasters.

  9. I don’t need “live” coverage of the draft, I will be able to read all about it the next day as it will dominate sites like this one.

  10. First off I miss the draft starting on Saturday at noon and finishing on Sunday. It was like a tailgate event for a bunch of us football nerds. I understand it’s never coming back because more people at home on Thu night gets higher ratings than 20-30 guys at a bar watching on Sat afternoon. I think it’s great it will be on broadcast TV.

  11. trentdilfer08 says:

    Can anybody please explain why the draft starts on a Thursday night instead of Friday?

    Ratings man. More TV’s tuned into the draft on a Thursday night. Friday night people are out on the town. Thursday most are in their homes because work the next day. It sucks but it makes sense if you are the NFL.

  12. Sorry, my time is way too valuable to sit in front of the tube for a couple of days and watch “Now, on the clock…..” Are you kidding me? Fanboys, please try and find a life!

  13. Fake news They may be using more media Outlets to broadcast coverage, but that doesn’t mean more people are watching. My team has been very successful lately and I’ve hardly paid attention to the off-season. I have almost no idea who has come and gone, for the first time in decades. I’m not the only one. You can’t tell me that the NFL is more popular than ever. It’s just not.

  14. I cant wait to see the Dallas fans reaction to the Eagles selection as they are introduced as the Superbowl Champions. An Eagle fan should give Drew Pearson a box of tissues.

  15. Nice, 4 more stooges and 10 more “ analysts” talking incessantly about guys they have no idea how they’ll turn out. The draft is brain dead tv

  16. I don’t have a problem with it having 1st round on Thursday as it gives us something to talk about and read at work on friday. I do wish they kept Friday to just round 2 so they can leave rounds 3 & 4 for Saturday and 5-7 for sunday.

  17. As a Pats fan, the draft pretty much sucks. You wait for hours for nearly the last pick in the round and then they trade it for a pick the next day.

  18. haansel82 says:
    March 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    I cant wait to see the Dallas fans reaction to the Eagles selection as they are introduced as the Superbowl Champions. An Eagle fan should give Drew Pearson a box of tissues.

    =============

    Nice daydream, but most everyone will have gone to bed, especially teams picking hours earlier.

  19. I cant wait to see the Dallas fans reaction to the Eagles selection as they are introduced as the Superbowl Champions. An Eagle fan should give Drew Pearson a box of tissues.

    ===================================================================================
    Every other NFC East team has multiple Superbowls, it took forever for the Eagles to win their first. Why would anyone in the NFC East give a damn.

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