Full coverage of NFL Draft on US national networks in league first
The entirety of American football’s NFL Draft, the annual three-day event in which teams select new players, will be broadcast on national networks for the first time this year, it has been announced.
Fox will air coverage of all seven rounds of the draft, which runs from 26 to 28 April, while rival ABC will show rounds four to seven on the draft’s final day.
This will be in addition to the exposure on cable and satellite networks ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language channel, Fox Sports and the league’s own NFL Network.
It marks the first time that the NFL has had more than two cable networks airing the draft, as well as two national networks.
Coverage will also be available across ESPN’s digital channels.
Customarily only ESPN and NFL Network have shown the draft, but this year Fox had the opportunity to simulcast NFL Network’s coverage as a result of its recent acquisition of rights to the NFL’s Thursday night games.
Fox picked up the Thursday night rights in a five-year deal which begins next season, and is said to be worth around $660 million per year.
ABC, which is owned entertainment giant Walt Disney, will simulcast coverage from sister network ESPN.
Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer, said: "The NFL Draft is a unique event on the NFL calendar where the promise and excitement of the future is universally felt among fans, players and clubs. Fan interest in the NFL Draft grows year after year, and we are excited for the opportunity to meet that demand with expanded draft coverage including a record six television networks, while deepening the relationship with our trusted broadcast partners ESPN and Fox."