Behind The ScenesESPN

NFL Draft telecast latest example of ESPN’s live events’ ratings success

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of television’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Especially for major live events.

Like the ones ESPN airs.

In the past few months, many of ESPN’s premier properties increased viewership from years past. The most recent example was the 2017 NFL Draft, ESPN’s most watched since 2014.

“Compelling, important live events – like the top-shelf sports programming in our lineup – draw viewers to the screen in real time; it’s programming you don’t watch later,” said ESPN Senior Vice President, Media & Fan Intelligence, Artie Bulgrin. “Sports has become a bigger part of live TV viewing than ever before, and audience growth for these marquee events does not surprise me.”

Revisit some recent examples of ESPN live event ratings successes in this gallery.

NFL Draft: In the average minute, 6,924,000 viewers were watching Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft, up 7% from 2016. Both TV and streaming contributed to increases, as TV was up 6% and streaming was up 23%.

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