Flagging TV ratings aren’t hurting the NFL’s network appeal.
The 2018 draft, held in Arlington, Texas, April 26-28, will be televised on FOX, according to a Pro Football Talk report on Wednesday.
The draft will also be broadcast on ESPN, per usual, while FOX will carry a simulcast of the NFL Network feed, a source tells PFT.
Two weeks ago, FOX agreed to purchase the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package for more than $3 billion, a huge increase over the $450 million per week that NBC paid the NFL for TNF broadcast rights this past season.
NFL television ratings sunk 9.7 percent in 2017 on the heels of an eight percent decrease in ’16. That hasn’t stopped FOX from striking while the iron is lukewarm.
The draft has long been a superior television viewing experience than attending the event live — though more than 70,000 fans flocked to Philadelphia last season to watch Round One unfold.
Before moving to Philadelphia, in 2015-16 the draft departed from its usual New York home to Chicago, which was also met by rave reviews. The same is likely to be true in Texas, where everything is bigger — including the event’s broadcast scope with FOX now competing with the cable stations.