The NFL, for better or worse, reigns supreme among Americans and their willingness to sit in front of a television for hours on end. For the first time, the draft was held in May; it’s probably going to stay that way for awhile, looking at the ratings.
On a night with playoff basketball and hockey, football flat-out destroyed its competitors. In overnight ratings, the two NBA playoff games grabbed ratings of 2.7 and 2.6, respectively. The ESPN broadcast of the draft? 6.8.
The draft was not short on storylines, either. Perhaps the most hyped prospect in years—defensive end Jadeveon Clowney—went first overall to the Houston Texans. The allure of Johnny Manziel certainly didn’t hurt either; the controversial quarterback prospect hailing from Texas A&M could have gone as high as first overall. Instead, he stumbled all the way down to 22, falling into the Cleveland Browns’ lap. Ratings reached their highest around 9:45e, when the Cowboys were on the clock and reportedly considering Manziel; the idea of Jerry Jones and Manziel in Texas would have made the collective internet’s head explode.
ESPN’s broadcast of the draft was a 48% increase from the 2013 telecast; NFL Network’s ratings went up 50% as well. Football, what would we do without you?