Business

NFL draft shatters viewership record

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel poses for photos after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) - Photo for: NFL draft shatters viewership record
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel poses for photos after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
— image credit: Photo for: NFL draft shatters viewership record

By Barry Wilner, The Associated Press

NEW YORK - If the NFL needs proof of the popularity of a May draft, it now has 32 million reasons why it worked this year.

First-round coverage of the draft on ESPN and NFL Network drew a combined total viewership of 32 million viewers, based on at least one minute of viewing. That makes it the most-viewed Round 1 ever, according to The Nielsen Company.

The 32 million is up 28 per cent over last year's 25.0 million.

"Thank you, fans, for making last night the most watched draft in our history," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the start of Friday night's second round.

The combined ESPN and NFLN coverage also averaged a record 12.4 million viewers, easily ranking at the top, ahead of the 8.3 million in 2010. It was the most-watched program on cable TV and the second-most watched program on television Thursday night.

Because Radio City Music Hall was not available for the usual late April time slot, the league moved the draft back two weeks. Considering the number of viewers, keeping it in May is a distinct possibility.

League owners would have to approve such a move. Their next meeting is May 19-20 in Atlanta, followed by the fall meeting in October.

Much of the interest Thursday night came from having such college stars as Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel in the draft. Clowney was the first overall pick by the Houston Texans, but 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Manziel had to wait until the 22nd spot before going to Cleveland.

It was an excruciating wait for Johnny Football, but great theatre that clearly kept TV viewers interested.

And when the Texas A&M quarterback final was taken, the draft was nearly three hours old. The audience had been captivated for the entire time.

On digital media platforms, the draft drew more than 14 million visits, an increase of 54 per cent from last year.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

She drums in colour
 
White Rock waterfront air quality to be monitored
 
E-cigs, party buses, ambulance response among issues for B.C. cities at UBCM
South Surrey students driven to distraction
 
Finding Nemo a loving home in Canada
 
Family issues appeal to find Crystal Ratvay of Abbotsford
Superheroes taking over TV, Netflix in 2014/15
 
Trio of ceramic shows at Surrey Art Gallery
 
Developing stage skills

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.