ABC to join ESPN, NFL Net­work in broad­cast­ing NFL draft

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Barry Wil­ner AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

ABC is join­ing the NFL draft broad­cast busi­ness and will tele­vise all three days of picks next April.

The net­work will join ESPN, also part of Walt Dis­ney Com­pany’s TV prop­er­ties, for prime-time cov­er­age on Thurs­day and Fri­day nights, April 25 and 26, from Nashville.

NFL Net­work also will tele­vise those two nights, which in­clude the open­ing three rounds of the draft.

ABC will have a sep­a­rate broad­cast crew from ESPN and NFLN. On Day 3, April 27, ABC and ESPN will simul­cast the fi­nal four rounds, while NFL Net­work does its own broad­cast.

Han­dling cov­er­age of the ABC tele­casts will be ESPN’s Col­lege Game­Day, col­lege foot­ball’s longest-run­ning pregame show. ESPN and ABC per­son­al­i­ties and other “spe­cial guests” will be part of the mul­ti­night ABC pre­sen­ta­tion.

ESPN De­portes will tele­vise all three rounds in Span­ish.

“The ad­di­tion of broad­cast tele­vi­sion for all three days of the 2018 NFL draft helped to bring this im­por­tant off­sea­son event to even more fans and re­sulted in the high­est-rated and most-viewed draft ever,” said Brian Ro­lapp, chief busi­ness and me­dia of­fi­cer for the NFL.

Fox simul­cast with NFL Net­work last April for the first two days and ABC broad­cast the third day.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to once again broad­cast­ing all three days of the NFL draft and ex­cited to have an­other mem­ber of the Dis­ney fam­ily with us to help grow this event and show­case the fu­ture stars of the NFL,” Ro­lapp said.

The first round on ESPN last spring, when five quar­ter­backs were taken, adding in­ter­est to the pro­ceed­ings, av­er­aged 5.36 mil­lion view­ers. The open­ing round’s com­bined num­bers for ESPN, Fox and NFL Net­work hit 11.2 mil­lion view­ers. Com­bined num­bers, in­clud­ing stream­ing, reached 11.4 mil­lion.

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