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NFL Draft Draws Record 15.6M Viewers, Up 37%

The NFL Draft, one of the few sports events on television since the coronavirus pandemic shut down live games, drew a record 15.6 million viewers on its first night, up 37% from last year’s telecast.

The draft, held virtually from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s house, with video connections to the drafted players and commentators, was televised by ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and shown online.

Coverage peaked from 8:45 to 9 p.m. with 19.6 million viewers.

Related: 100 Brands Buy NFL Draft Spots on ABC and ESPN

The top metered markets were Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Philadelphia; Kansas City; Jacksonville; Atlanta; Charlotte, Denver, and Nashville and Milwaukee, which tied.

The draft was accompanied by “Draft-A-Thon Live,” a fund raising effort that drew 7 million total viewers across digital and social properties.”

“The theme of hope is always prevalent in the NFL, especially with regard to the Draft," said Goodell. "In 2020, that’s especially true, as we help honor healthcare workers, first responders, and others on the front lines of the battle with COVID-19 while giving our fans something to cheer about as we celebrate the next generation of NFL stars. We are thrilled so many people were able to join us last night and we thank them for helping support the Draft-A-Thon.”Event shown on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and online

The NFL Draft, one of the few sports events on television since the coronavirus pandemic shut down live games, drew a record 15.6 million viewers, up 37% from last year’s telecast.

The draft, held virtually from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s house, with video connections to the drafted players and commentators, was televised by ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and shown online.

Coverage peaked from 8:45 to 9 p.m. with 19.6 million viewers.

The top metered markets were Columbus,Ohio; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Philadelphia; Kansas City; Jacksonville; Atlanta; Charlotte, Denver and Nashville and Milwaukee, which tied.

The draft was accompanied by “Draft-A-Thon Live,” a fund raising effort that drew 7 million total viewers across digital and social properties.”

“The theme of hope is always prevalent in the NFL, especially with regard to the Draft," said Goodell. "In 2020, that’s especially true, as we help honor healthcare workers, first responders, and others on the front lines of the battle with COVID-19 while giving our fans something to cheer about as we celebrate the next generation of NFL stars. We are thrilled so many people were able to join us last night and we thank them for helping support the Draft-A-Thon.”