ESPN’s three-day presentation of the 2018 NFL Draft (Rounds 1-7) averaged a 1.9 household rating and 2,906,000 viewers over the nearly 15 hours across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC, according to Nielsen.
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.
The top 10 metered markets: Columbus (4.4), New Orleans (4.2), Cleveland (3.9), Buffalo, Cincinnati, Birmingham and Norfolk (3.5), Dayton (3.3), Oklahoma City and Atlanta (3.1). Host city Dallas-Ft. Worth delivered a 2.4.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes combined to deliver 5,473,000 viewers for Round 1, 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).
ESPN and ESPN2 delivered an average audience of 1,678,000 viewers for Rounds 2-3, according to Nielsen. ESPN.com and the ESPN App recorded their most-trafficked day for NFL content since the final Sunday of the 2017 NFL regular season.
ESPN and ABC combined to deliver 2,249,000 viewers on Saturday for Rounds 4-7, according to Nielsen, which is an increase of 40 percent vs. the 2017 telecast on ESPN. It was the most-viewed Day 3 across all networks in NFL Draft History.