Portion Of NFL Combine Coverage Heading To ABC This Year
ESPN this week plans to announce that ABC will "carry two hours of the NFL scouting combine" after making a deal in November to put the entire NFL Draft on ABC, according to Bryan Curtis of THE RINGER. A slot on broadcast TV is an "unlikely milestone for the combine" and gives a "boost" to the longtime NFL Network event. The NFL "worked with combine organizers and then ABC so that the network window will feature quarterback and wide receiver workouts." NFL VP/Media Strategy & Business Development Amanda Herald said that ESPN "added slightly more money to its current deal with the NFL to show the combine and expanded draft coverage." For the first two days of its ABC Draft coverage, ESPN "will create a parallel show hosted by the 'College GameDay' crew -- a way of luring more college football fans into the NFL offseason." Since former ESPN President John Skipper resigned, ESPN’s executive class has been "working a charm offensive" on the NFL. ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling Burke Magnus said the net's relationship with the league is in a "wonderful place right now." Magnus: “It’s this draft deal. The combine deal. ... The schedule we got from these guys for 'Monday Night Football' last year. I feel like the NFL has responded to a new day at ESPN relative to the relationship.” A source said of the new combine deal, “It’s like, what can we do to make sure we’re best friends again?” (THERINGER.com, 2/12).