ESPN remains the most popular channel for viewers of the NFL draft, but the combined viewership of the FOX-NFL Network partnership outpaced ESPN this year.
Early ratings numbers showed that ESPN had a 3.9 rating, FOX had a 2.9 and NFL Network had a 1.5.
Those numbers show that the FOX simulcast of NFL Network’s coverage is eating into ESPN’s viewership, which was a 4.8 rating last year. ESPN beats either FOX or NFL Network individually, but the combined FOX-NFL Network broadcast drew more than ESPN alone. ESPN2 also showed the draft from a college football perspective with an audience that was believed to be tiny compared to the other three channels.
Overall, the NFL says the draft averaged 11.2 million viewers, on a night when an NBA playoff game on TNT averaged 2.4 million viewers.