Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
When Draft Day has been your football team’s de facto Super Bowl Sunday for more than a decade, stratospheric television ratings shouldn’t be a surprise.
ESPN released its overnight ratings from its first night of coverage for the NFL Draft and the Northeast Ohio market proved to be the top one for viewership, according to numbers from Nielsen, a ratings measuring service.
The network averaged a 5.1 for the night. That didn’t approach the lofty numbers from last year’s annual players’ supermarket, which had plenty of drama courtesy of the presence of Johnny Manziel, who eventually ended up in Cleveland.
In fact, although much speculation surrounded Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who eventually landed with the Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly’s pursuit of him little drama existed for much of the evening. Kelly coached the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in college.
The Browns held two selections in the draft – Nos. 12 and 19 – which they used to take defensive tackle Danny Shelton and offensive lineman Cameron Erving. They have eight picks remaining over the next two days.
The top 10 metered markets included Cleveland (11.4), New Orleans (8.6), Philadelphia (8.0), Columbus, Ohio (7.4), Birmingham, Ala. (7.4), Tampa-St. Petersburg (6.8), Greensboro, N.C. (6.7), Norfolk, Va. (6.6), Charlotte (6.4) and Baltimore (6.4).
The draft resumes tonight at 7 p.m.