Tag Archives: Commissioner

Draft Tip-offs Used to Tick Me Off and Networks Too

29 Apr

“Didn’t he die in the next chapter Mrs. Williams?” Imagine a kid in your elementary school class blurting out the ending to a book you’ve been reading in class, just so he could act like a know-it-all. That’s how I used to feel during the NFL Draft in years past. I absolutely hated it. If all books had their endings on their covers, no one would read them, which was how the networks felt.

ESPN and NFL Network agreed to not tweet the picks for the NFL Draft prior to the Podium announcement. “Our fans have told us they would rather hear from the commissioner and I think it is a better TV show when we speculate and let the commissioner do it,” ESPN NFL senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said. Image

Yes, someone that doesn’t want to be tipped off and doesn’t care to get the news as soon as it’s available could simply not look at Twitter, but it’s difficult to ignore the people that did read the tweet. Much worst, the on-air personalities often caught wind of the pick and told the audience ahead of the Commissioner’s announcement making it just a formality and a waste of time. The broadcast also seemed amateur with the on-air talent just looking like know-it-alls disclosing the spoilers.

The networks weren’t just listening to the fans and giving them what they wanted, they had their minds on their pockets too. They probably figured that they could get more viewers if they could get those wanting to be the first to know who was drafted to watch their televisions instead of watching their Twitter feeds. They wanted to maintain their precious ad revenues and sub-fees.

It was speculated that because there were no major names and personalities in this draft to engage an audience, like the quarterbacks taken in last year’s draft, ratings would take a hit. However, this wasn’t the case. The networks’ strategy of getting people to watch their broadcasts probably paid off here. The two networks combined to average 5.9 overnight Neilsen rating on the first night of the draft, which tied last year for the second best overnight on record for the draft.

In the end, the fans were happy, the networks were happy and the know-it-alls were embarrassed and angered when they were told to zip their lips.