ESPN Leads All Networks with NFL Draft Round 1 Telecast


ESPN Leads All Networks with NFL Draft Round 1 Telecast

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes combine to deliver nearly 5.5 million viewers
  • ESPN wins the night among all key male and adult demos
  • Live Twitter show On the Clock averages 2.9 million viewers

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes combined to deliver a total live audience of 5,473,000 viewers for its Round 1 telecast of the 2018 NFL Draft, according to Nielsen. Coverage peaked from 8:30-9 p.m. (between picks 4-8) with 6,420,000 viewers.

Of the multiple networks carrying the NFL Draft on Thursday night, ESPN was the most-watched with an average audience of 5,336,000 viewers. Additionally, day 1 of the NFL Draft helped ESPN win the night across all cable and broadcast networks among key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54).

The top-10 metered markets for ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage included Buffalo (8.3), Columbus (8.1), Cleveland (7.5), New Orleans (6.8), Birmingham, Ala. (6.5), Norfolk (6.1), Cincinnati (6.0), Oklahoma City (5.7), and (tied) Indianapolis, Louisville and Atlanta (5.6). Cleveland had been the highest-rated market for Round 1 on ESPN the past four years.

Note: The NFL Draft audience is likely to grow by eight percent once all streaming and out-of-home audiences are included, based on ESPN’s new Nielsen Total Audience measurement.

ESPN Digital and Social

Thursday was the most-trafficked day for NFL content on and the ESPN App since the Super Bowl. Six of the top-10 articles on and the ESPN App were NFL Draft related.

ESPN’s live On the Clock Twitter show averaged 2.9 million viewers, who accounted for 1.5 million interactions with the show. On the Clock returns tonight (7 p.m. ET) for Rounds 2-3.

2018 NFL Draft Continues on ESPN/ESPN2

ESPN’s coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft continues tonight from Arlington, Texas with Rounds 2-3 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN, 8 p.m. on ESPN2), and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, beginning at 12 p.m. on ESPN and simulcast on ABC. Coverage is also being streamed live on the ESPN App.


Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
Back to top button