2020 NFL Draft draws all-time record ratings for ESPN
It’s safe to say that fans are hungry for sports during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 NFL Draft lacked the fanfare and festivities that were planned for the Las Vegas Strip, but the “virtual” draft was a ratings winner. ESPN announced Sunday that the Thursday-Saturday event is officially the most-watched draft ever.
Per an ESPN press release:
The unique presentation of the 2020 NFL Draft established new all-time highs for media consumption in every category. With over 600 camera feeds from homes across the United States, all telecasts of the 2020 NFL Draft reached more than 55 million total viewers across Nielsen-measured channels over the three-day event, up +16% vs. 2019. An average audience of over 8.4 million viewers watched all three days of the 2020 NFL Draft across ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, and digital channels easily breaking the previous high of 6.2 million viewers in 2019 (+35%).
Each day of the 2020 NFL Draft established new highs as an average audience of over 15.6 million viewers watched Round 1 on Thursday (+37% vs. 2019), over 8.2 million viewers watched Rounds 2 & 3 on Friday (+40% vs. 2019), and over 4.2 million viewers watched Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (+32% vs. 2019).
“I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts and collaboration of our clubs, league personnel, and our partners to conduct an efficient Draft and share an unforgettable experience with millions of fans during these uncertain times,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the release. “This Draft is the latest chapter in the NFL’s storied history of lifting the spirit of America and unifying people. In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of so many talented young men, we were pleased that this unique Draft helped shine a light on today’s true heroes – the healthcare workers, first responders, and countless others on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. We are also grateful to all those who contributed to the NFL family’s fundraising efforts.”
Top-10 metered markets across all networks included (rating in parenthesis): Columbus, Ohio (8.8), Cleveland (8.7), Philadelphia (8.6), Kansas City (8.5), Cincinnati (8.5), Atlanta (8.2), Jacksonville (8.1), Nashville (8.0), Milwaukee (7.8), and Denver/Baltimore (7.0).