The NFL Draft on ESPN set an overnight ratings record with a whopping 6.8, up 48 percent from last year. According to ESPN, the 6.8 is the best rating for the draft since 1998, which is as far back as the ratings go.
The network’s TV rating peaked between 9:45 and 10 pm. Guess who was on the clock then? The Dallas Cowboys. They could have taken Johnny Manziel, but didn’t. So was the rating a Johnny Manziel creation, or because there was so much uncertainty in the draft? Probably a combination.
So all the folks bitching and whining about the draft getting pushed back … yeah, that worked out kind of well for the NFL. And remember, the draft was going up against LeBron James and the Miami Heat (who pulled away from Brooklyn in the 4th quarter). There were also two NHL playoff games and a handful of MLB games.
NFL Network hasn’t released its overnight ratings yet.