The NFL draft, the league’s primary offseason tentpole event, continues to find a way to generate tremendous interest. However, the trend is currently not the NFL’s friend.
Via @SportsTVRatings on Twitter, average viewership came in at 10.03 million for the first round of the 2022 draft. While that’s solid for a reality show about nothing, it’s way down from last year. Which was way down from the year before.
In 2021, the first round averaged 12.5 million viewers. In 2020, the virtual draft averaged 15.3 million viewers.
That’s a drop of more than 33 percent since 2020. In many respects, it has plenty to do with the absence of big-name quarterbacks at the top of the draft. The fact that 25 percent of the teams didn’t have first-round picks at all surely was a factor in the reduced numbers.
Last night, 4.446 million watched on ESPN, 3.803 million tuned in on ABC, and 1.782 million watched NFL Network.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens tonight, given that plenty of quarterbacks are still in play and more teams will be picking. It all gets rolling at 7:00 p.m. ET.