NFL Draft Was a Ratings Hit, Third-Most Watched Ever

Unlike most TV events in 2021, the NFL Draft recorded a W. An average of 6.1 million viewers tuned in for the three-day event across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. The average combines both television and digital viewing.

6.1 million is the draft's third-highest average, essentially tied with 2019's 6.2 million. 2020, which was boosted as the first major sporting event during the pandemic, remains the most watched draft.

Thursday's airing of the first round drew 12.52 million viewers, trailing only 2020's 15.6 million, a record that may never be broken.

To put into context how impressive 12.52 million is -- compare it to the 2021 Oscars and NBA Finals, which averaged 9.85 million 7.45 million, respectively. Both the Oscars and Finals hit historic lows.

That's staggering, yet not surprising. While overall TV ratings are in decline, those programs that aggressively spread woke social justice messaging are collapsing.

To the credit of the NFL, ESPN/ABC, and NFL Network -- the draft was about one thing: football. The viewers needed that, they wanted that, and they showed appreciation for that by not turning the channel.

Keep winning, NFL.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.