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Saturday, April 26, 2021

less blow
So today at around 1PM, I flipped the TV channel to ESPN, fully expecting to see the first round of this year’s NFL Draft in full swing. I haven’t been particularly interested in the lead-up, but I wanted to get a token fix of Mel Kiper et al.

But, shocker of shockers — no draft coverage. Because there was no draft, because unlike years past, the league and the networks decided to slightly streamline football’s most overhyped offseason event:

- The draft will start at [3PM Eastern] Saturday, three hours later than had been the case, but only Rounds 1 and 2 will be held that day. The third round has been moved to Sunday.

- Teams will be allowed 10 minutes to make a selection in the first round instead of 15, and the time between second-round picks will be seven minutes instead of 10.

- Sunday’s portion of the draft will start an hour earlier [10AM Eastern] and teams will have five minutes between picks in Rounds 3-7.

The later start time Saturday is beneficial for ESPN and the NFL Network because viewership grows throughout the day. But the reduction in time between picks is going to be interesting.

The quicker pace between selections has greater impact than just television coverage and ad sales, of course. Teams do jockey for trades during that between-selection time, even if it is for slot-swaps to move up in a round. Potentially, that means a reduction in horsetrading, even if it is only for trivial fourth-round positioning.

Still, as much as I ignored the draft for the past couple of years, I do feel a void. It was a reliable background noise if I chose to tune in. Today’s mid-afternoon start didn’t work for me at all; as a result, I’ve peeked in for maybe five total minutes of coverage. I doubt I’ll catch much more tomorrow.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/26/2008 07:25:15 PM
Category: Football, TV
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2 Feedbacks »
  1. The draft might have started later, but ESPN covered it all day. I couldn’t wait for the Wings-Avs or Yankees-Indians games to start, at 3 and 330, respectively.

    Some sport should have taken advantage of the national lull and had a noon game.

    Comment by David — 04/26/2008 @ 07:54:30 PM

  2. I guess I should have been a little clearer… Yeah, ESPN was doing its “On The Clock” pre-show before the official start at Radio City. But it just wasn’t the same.

    You’re right, “some sport” should have taken advantage of that potential noon start time.

    Comment by CT — 04/26/2008 @ 08:16:14 PM

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