For the three days of NFL Draft coverage ESPN averaged a 2.0 household rating and 3.02 million viewers, up slightly from last year’s 1.9 rating and 2.931 million viewers over the three days. Not bad considering ESPN’s primetime first-round coverage was down versus last year.
Per Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp, NFL Network averaged 1.28 million for its three-day coverage, its best average since the three-day format began in 2010.
ESPN Averages More Than Three Million Viewers for Three-Day 2016 NFL Draft Telecast
ESPN/ESPN2’s three-day presentation of the 2016 NFL Draft (April 28-30) – including the first two nights in prime time – delivered a 2.0 US household rating and 3,020,000 viewers, based on Nielsen fast nationals, up slightly from last year’s 1.9 rating and 2,931,000 viewers.
Overall, this year ranks as the seventh most-viewed NFL Draft on ESPN/ESPN2 since 1994.
In the average minute of the telecast, more than 3.1 million people were watching across TV and WatchESPN, up from last year’s nearly 3.0 million. This was the most-viewed NFL Draft ever on WatchESPN – overall and for each day of coverage.
The top-10 metered markets for ESPN’s three days of television coverage were Cleveland (6.3), Columbus (6.2), New Orleans (4.0), Dayton (4.0), Jacksonville (3.7), Birmingham (3.5), Buffalo (3.4), Milwaukee (3.3), Philadelphia (3.2), and (tied) Nashville and Minneapolis-St. Paul (3.1).
Rounds 4-7 / Day 3 (Saturday)
The nearly seven hours of coverage (12-6:48 p.m. ET) on ESPN delivered a 1.2 US rating and 1,705,000 viewers, based on fast nationals, making it the third highest-rated and third most-viewed Saturday since the new format in 2010. The telecast peaked during the 1-1:30 p.m. half hour with a 1.3 rating and 1,917,000 viewers.
WatchESPN delivered an average minute audience of 39,000 for coverage of Rounds 4-7, up 35 percent year-over-year.
Rounds 2-3 / Day 2 (Friday)
ESPN/ESPN2’s primetime coverage delivered a 1.5 US household rating and 2,260,000 viewers. The telecast peaked on ESPN from 7:30-7:59 p.m. with a 1.8 rating and 2,652,000 viewers. ESPN’s opening hour of coverage (7-7:59 p.m.) delivered a 1.6 rating and 2,409,000 viewers, while the ESPN2 portion (7:59-11:22 p.m.) delivered a 1.4 rating and 2,217,000 viewers.
WatchESPN delivered an average minute audience of 67,000 for Rounds 2-3 of the NFL Draft, up 52 percent year-over-year.
Round 1 / Day 1 (Thursday)
ESPN’s round 1 coverage averaged 6,289,000 viewers and a 3.9 rating. Coverage peaked in the 8:30-9 p.m. half hour with a 4.6 rating and 7,465,000 viewers. The top-10 markets: Cleveland (13.3), Columbus (13.1), New Orleans (7.8), Dayton (7.7), Birmingham (7.5), Jacksonville (7.2), Philadelphia (7.0), Minneapolis-St. Paul (6.9), Buffalo (6.6) and Nashville (6.1).
WatchESPN delivered an average minute audience of 198,000 for Round 1, a 37 percent gain year-over-year. ESPN digital’s total average minute audience across web, app and streaming video for NFL content during the Round 1 live window was 797,000, up eight percent from 2015.