The NFL draft has become a very, very big deal on TV and, as a result, the league would prefer that fans come to the networks covering it rather than, say, Twitter for the big reveal of each pick.
That means there’ll be some changes this year. From SI.com’s Richard Deitsch:
“While ESPN and NFL Network will compete fiercely for audience this week, they have once again come together for a gentleman’s agreement on the subject of tipping draft picks. Both networks have pledged not to show images of players on the phone in the green room at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to that, both networks tell SI.com that they will tell staffers not to report pick-by-pick selections on their Twitter feeds prior to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the picks on the podium. The Twitter edict will extend into the second round of the draft. Teams have 10 minutes to pick in the first round, seven minutes in the second round and five minutes for the rest of the draft.”
“Our fans have told us they would rather hear from the Commissioner and I think it is a better TV show when we speculate and let the Commissioner do it,” said ESPN NFL senior coordinating producer Seth Markman, who oversees draft coverage for the network. “I have said in the past that [ESPN reporters] Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen can basically announce all the picks before they are made if they really wanted to. It goes against a lot of our instincts as journalists and it’s totally different than anything I deal with, but we feel like it is a win for the fans and our viewers.”
Of course, that doesn’t extend to the Twitter feeds of reporters who don’t happen to work for those networks so … good luck with that whole “control of information” thing.
To watch the three days of the NFL draft on TV, tune in ESPN or the NFL Network, both of which will have endless coverage — 47 hours’ worth on the NFL Network. To watch live online, go to NFL.com or WatchESPN. SiriusXM Radio (Channel 88) will also have pick-by-pick coverage and analysis.
Round 1 tonight: 8 p.m. until completion (we can only hope this goes as quickly as last year’s first round, which was over shortly after 11 p.m.)
Rounds 2-3 Friday night: 6:30 until 10:30 p.m.
Rounds 4 through 7, Saturday: Noon until 8 p.m.
More on the NFL Draft