Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel poses for photos after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel poses for photos after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft

NFL draft shatters viewership record

NFL Draft: Manziel's wait is a huge draw for television viewership

By Barry Wilner, The Associated Press

NEW YORK – If the NFL needs proof of the popularity of a May draft, it now has 32 million reasons why it worked this year.

First-round coverage of the draft on ESPN and NFL Network drew a combined total viewership of 32 million viewers, based on at least one minute of viewing. That makes it the most-viewed Round 1 ever, according to The Nielsen Company.

The 32 million is up 28 per cent over last year’s 25.0 million.

“Thank you, fans, for making last night the most watched draft in our history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the start of Friday night’s second round.

The combined ESPN and NFLN coverage also averaged a record 12.4 million viewers, easily ranking at the top, ahead of the 8.3 million in 2010. It was the most-watched program on cable TV and the second-most watched program on television Thursday night.

Because Radio City Music Hall was not available for the usual late April time slot, the league moved the draft back two weeks. Considering the number of viewers, keeping it in May is a distinct possibility.

League owners would have to approve such a move. Their next meeting is May 19-20 in Atlanta, followed by the fall meeting in October.

Much of the interest Thursday night came from having such college stars as Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel in the draft. Clowney was the first overall pick by the Houston Texans, but 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Manziel had to wait until the 22nd spot before going to Cleveland.

It was an excruciating wait for Johnny Football, but great theatre that clearly kept TV viewers interested.

And when the Texas A&M quarterback final was taken, the draft was nearly three hours old. The audience had been captivated for the entire time.

On digital media platforms, the draft drew more than 14 million visits, an increase of 54 per cent from last year.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels after found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read