Although the NFL is not airing any game content this time of year, it still produces a high level of interest.
The opening round of the NFL draft drew a collective 12.5 million viewers in the Nielsen live program-plus-same day metric across ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network -- the second-best results ever for the event.
The downside: This was down 18% from 15.3 million in the Nielsen live program-plus-same day metric a year ago, which was its all-time best result.
Looking at specific network performances, ESPN was down 18% from a year ago to 6.5 million, while ABC went backwards -- 26% to 4.2 million.
Only the NFL Network, saw an increase -- 7% higher to 1.9 million.
Disney Advertising Sales says that for its ESPN and ABC networks, it signed on 40 new advertisers for the three-day, multi-hour event, totaling over 100 brands for the NFL Draft.
This included major marketers attached to specific presenting sponsorships and programming segments including: NFL Draft on ESPN – presented by Courtyard by Marriott; NFL Draft on ABC – College GameDay Built by The Home Depot; SportsCenter Draft Specials – presented by IBM; NFL Draft Countdown – presented by ZipRecruiter; Trade Alert – Subway; Draft Moment – Pizza Hut; Salute to Service – USAA; Draft ID – Volkswagen; in-person player interviews – Snickers
ESPN pulled in an estimated $5.23 million in ad revenue for the three-day event, with ABC at $3.3 million and The NFL Network at $3.7 million, according to EDO Ad EnGage.
EDO Ad EnGage is an TV advertising research and data service.