Are you serious with the three television days of the NFL draft? I’m guilty as charged as being a football fanatic and a fantasy head, but spreading the seven rounds of live drafting over three days is just way too much. It does go to show just how much power and viewership the NFL has attracted. No other sport has a draft more scrutinized and watched than the NFL. There have been top 10 lists on ESPN of the best and worst draft picks in the last two days. The NFL front office is taking huge advantage of people loving the NFL, which has grown enormously to cement itself as the #1 sport in America.
I thought at some point there are always diminishing returns on certain things. You can only ride out a hot streak for so long. But it seems like the NFL is just not dying at all. So why not just rake in the cash and have just the first round on Thursday night? Thirty-two total picks will be made in Radio City Music Hall in New York and after, some will be highly scrutinized. The draft starts at 7:30 pm ET and will last for at least a couple of hours. ESPN, agents, and the GMs have coyly been dodging questions about their impending picks, trying intrigue even more viewers. I swear Sam Bradford will go #1 to the St. Louis Rams but all parties are holding it close to the chest. They want eyeballs on the screen and I don’t blame them. This is huge revenue that is at stake, both for the teams and for the commercial spots.
People think I’m crazy for watching drafts. I just like seeing these kids achieve their lifelong dream of getting drafted by an NFL team. And also I want to follow my favorite team as well and see who they pick up. You’ve always got the psycho Philly and Jets fans in there booing no matter who they pick up. They’re stupid and they think it’s their right to be jerks to their new draftees. But that’s the allure and charm of watching the drafts. Viewers want to see the crazy fans as well as the different personalities of the teams.
The NFL draft also gives a sense of history, a kind of “do-you-remember-when” this great hall of famer was drafted. We can look back and say, “yeah that 2010 draft was amazing”, or even the exact opposite. Either way, viewers will tune in regardless and the NFL will just sit back and smile as they count their money. I mean, seriously, who cares who the kicker in the 7th round will be…only football fanatics like myself. The NFL is sucking more viewers in and will only expand exponentially in the future. With the onset of the NFL network, they might even try and shift the draft to their own network in the future. Only certain cable and satellite packages include the NFL Network and both subscribers have to have a minimum level in order to receive its programming. If they can shift the draft to the NFL Network then receive some sort of cut from the providers, that would be better financially than selling the rights to ESPN. That’s a whole different ballgame though when you factor in that ESPN has the college rights.
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