/// NFL Draft Ratings Take a Hit
A tough roster of broadcast competition may have sacked fan interest in the NFL Draft, as preliminary Nielsen data suggests that ESPN took a hit with its Thursday night coverage. According to Nielsen overnights, ESPN’s presentation of the NFL Draft averaged a 4.4, down 17 percent from the 5.3 it notched during last year’s first round coverage. A year ago, ESPN set a record with its draft opener, averaging 7.29 million viewers on April 22 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:20 p.m. That same night, NFL Network delivered 1.03 million viewers. Early estimates suggest ESPN’s first round of 2011 draft coverage averaged 6 million total viewers. If those numbers hold, Bristol’s deliveries will be down 18 percent year-over-year. While NFL Network’s overnights suggested a corresponding decline, the live-plus-same day delivery (1.04 million viewers) was a slight improvement over last year’s average.