NFL Draft First Round Sets Ratings Record for ESPN

NFL Draft First Round Sets Ratings Record for ESPN

NFL draft averages just shy of 10 million viewers

ESPN definitely picked a winner with the NFL Draft.

The telecast of the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday set a record as the most-watched NFL Draft telecast in the 35 years that ESPN has presented the event.

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The telecast averaged just shy of 10 million viewers, and drew a 6..1 US rating based on preliminary numbers.

That represents a 49 percent surge over last year's rating, and a 60 percent jump in total viewership over the previous year.

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Ratings for the draft round peaked between 9:45 and 10 p.m. ET, when the Dallas Cowboys picked at No. 16, choosing Zack Martin, with Johnny Manziel still available. (The Cleveland Browns eventually chose Manziel.)

Top 10 metered markets for the NFL draft round included Cleveland, with a 13.0 rating, Houston with an 11.6, and Auston with an 11.3.