ESPN's coverage of the 1st Round of the NFL Draft left a lot to talk about, but in the end it was a marked improvement over last year's train wreck. Unfortunately for the network, ratings fell from last year's all-time high to around 6 million viewers in 2011. Meanwhile, the competition over at the NFL Network actually saw a miniscule gain in their coverage from last year to just over 1.04 million viewers. While the combined numbers for the two networks were still the 2nd highest draft ratings of all time, there was still a 16% dip in viewers of the two networks.
So why the decline in numbers in the 2nd year of the NFL Draft in primetime? For one, lockout fatigue may be finally setting in on some hardcore fans. The uncertainty and bitterness surrounding the labor dispute might have tuned some fans out of the Draft coverage entirely.
Another factor in the ratings downfall could have been the stiff competition on TV Thursday night. In fact, ESPN's coverage was ranked 3rd in primetime behind American Idol (which people apparently still watch without British Mel Kiper...you know, Simon What's-his-name) and The Big Bang Theory (a show I wouldn't watch if tied down and held at gunpoint). The worldwide leader should actually be pleased that they were able to beat the likes of the NBA Playoffs and Steve Carell's final episode of The Office, which was definitely a tear-jerker for fans of the show like yours truly.
Now, I know what you're thinking, if my brother Matt were around this weekend, he'd have the perfect Office video to tie back in to the NFL Draft. But, since he's not here, my weekend present to you is a random compilation of "That's What She Said"...enjoy!