ABC To Broadcast All Three Days Of NFL Draft In '19
ABC will broadcast all three days of the NFL Draft next April, including two primetime shows on Day 1 and Day 2. Fox, which covered the Draft’s first two days earlier this year, will not cover it live in ‘19. ESPN and NFL Network also will cover all rounds of the Draft, which will be held in Nashville April 25-27. ABC’s coverage will not be a simulcast of what is on ESPN, at least not on the Draft’s first two days. ABC’s coverage will be tailored for the more casual fan, anchored by the “College GameDay” crew of Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. Davis, Corso and Howard were on ESPN2’s coverage last year, while Herbstreit was on ESPN’s main set for Day 1.
ABC will focus on the personalities and backstories of the draft picks, incorporating live musical acts into its coverage. Meanwhile, ESPN and NFL Network’s coverage will be more football-centric. ESPN’s coverage earlier this year was hosted by Trey Wingo with Mel Kiper Jr. and Louis Riddick. ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage on Day 3. ESPN has carried the NFL Draft since '80. Since becoming ESPN President in the spring, Jimmy Pitaro has been open about his desire to improve relations with the NFL. This move could be viewed as a sign that the relationship between ESPN and NFL is back on solid ground. The Draft saw its best TV audience on record this year, as the three-day event averaged 5.5 million viewers across ESPN, NFL Network, Fox, ABC and ESPN2. That passed the previous high of 5.4 million viewers in '14.