NFL Draft Goes Prime Time, Latest Goodell Bold Gamble
Last year, Goodell -- the NFL commissioner since 2006 -- made the striking decision to move the increasingly popular Draft to the most coveted real estate in television: Thursday night prime time. It will go head-to-head tonight with CBSâ€™s â€œCSI:â€� and â€œThe Mentalistâ€�; NBCâ€™s â€œThe Officeâ€�; and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in playoff basketball on TNT.
But perhaps the most intriguing character this evening is Tim Tebow, the popular Florida quarterback. Questions abound where heâ€™ll be picked. The Draftâ€™s first round will be carried on ESPN and the NFL Network from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The Draft has traditionally started on Saturday afternoons.
Other Goodell TV-oriented moves â€¦ earlier this year he tried to resuscitate interest in the Pro Bowl by moving it to the week before the Super Bowl and off Hawaii. He created a â€œRedZoneâ€� channel to placate cable operators frustrated they canâ€™t air DirecTVâ€™s â€œSunday Ticket.â€� And he overhauled the overtime policy for playoff games.
Goodell started in the NFL in public relations. Even so, heâ€™s reserved and circumspect, but apparently isnâ€™t afraid to roll the dice.