David Zurawik

NFL draft scores with Baltimore viewers on night one

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talks during the first round of the NFL draft Thursday.

Nationally, the TV audience for the first night of the NFL draft was down a bit from last year, but Baltimore tuned in in a big way.

ESPN's round one coverage earned a 4.6 overnight rating Thursday, according to preliminary Nielsen figures supplied by the channel.


That's the third highest-rated overnight since round one began airing on Thursday in 2010. That year's telecast earned a 5.4 rating, while last year's Thursday night coverage scored a 4.8.

Locally, Baltimore finished fourth among metered markets behind Buffalo, New Orleans and Kansas City.
1. Buffalo (10.3)
2. New Orleans (8.8)
3. Kansas City (8.4)
4. Baltimore (7.6)
Birmingham (7.6)
6. Dayton (7.4)
7. Milwaukee (7.2)
8. Cincinnati (6.8)
9. Cleveland (6.6)
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul (6.5)


More later when fast national figures are released by ESPN.

This post has been revised to include corrected information from ESPN on the ratings for 2010.

UPDATE FROM ESPN on number of viewers:

ESPN's live telecast of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25, averaged 6,199,000 viewers with a 4.1 US rating based on fast nationals, according to the Nielsen Company.
The rating and viewership was slightly down, seven percent (vs. 4.4 US rating and 6,661,000 viewers), compared to last year's much ballyhooed NFL Draft, which had four eventual starting quarterbacks – Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden – selected in the first round. 

Compared to the 2011 NFL Draft, the first round rating was up eight percent (vs. 3.8 US rating), while viewership saw a three percent gain (6,003,000). This year's telecast ranks as the third-most viewed NFL Draft since the event moved to prime time in 2010.