SBD/April 27, 2012/Media

ESPN, NFL Network See Overnight Ratings Increase For First Round Of Draft

ESPN's coverage up 11.6% from last year's first round

ESPN earned a 4.8 overnight Nielsen rating for the first round of the ’12 NFL Draft last night, up 11.6% from a 4.3 overnight last year, but down from a 5.4 rating in ’10, which was the first time the first round aired in primetime on a Thursday. Cleveland-Akron led all markets for ESPN’s coverage with a 10.7 local rating, followed by Birmingham with a 10.5. Rounding out the top five markets were Dayton (8.3), Columbus (7.3) and Buffalo (7.3). NFL Network earned a 1.0 overnight for its coverage, up from a 0.9 last year, and flat with ’10 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

NEW ANGLE: NFL Network’s Rich Eisen appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” this morning and he said the network’s cameras “were hardly in the Green Room last night.” Host Dan Patrick replied, “I like that. No tipping picks.” Eisen: “In fact, the only ones on our network who tipped picks were the Colts, Redskins and the Browns. We tried so hard not to tip picks, the first three picks were tipped by the teams themselves.” Eisen said the broadcast “was about trying to get the cell phones out of the hands of the kids and making it a more viewer-friendly draft." Patrick asked, “Did the ‘Mothership’ tip picks?” Eisen: “I have read on Twitter my good friend and colleague Adam Schefter was essentially tweeting out the picks moments before they were coming out” ("The Dan Patrick Show,” 4/27).

GETTING SOCIAL: The Draft also saw heavy commentary on Twitter. ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi wrote, "Does any commissioner have a better hug than Roger Goodell? I didn't think so." CBS' “Late Show” Exec Producer Eric Stangel wrote, “We're only through pick 8 and Jon Gruden is already sweaty... #PaceYourself #NFLDraft.”’s Michigan recruiting editor Tom VanHaaren tweeted, “Jon Gruden just called RB Doug Martin a muscle hamster. That's awesome.” Broadcasting & Cable's Ben Grossman wrote on Twitter, “Best NFL draft quote, from ESPN's Todd McShay: 'He's a perfect fit, from a football player standpoint.' You know, as opposed to as a janitor.” Boston’s WEEI Radio tweeted, “What do you think Deion Sanders would say if you told him 10 years ago that he'd being doing the same job as Suzy Kolber today?"

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