NFL Picks ABC No. 1 For Exclusive, Expanded Coverage Of 2019 Draft
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 11:04PM in ABC, ESPN, NFL, NFL, NFL Draft, sports marketing, sports media

By Barry Janoff

November 26, 2018: Calling it “one of the NFL’s marquee off-season events,” ABC-TV has moved into the No. 1 spot as the league’s broadcast partner for the 2019 Draft, scheduled for April 25-27, 2019, in Nashville.

Exclusive coverage of the Draft on ABC for the first two days replaces previous coverage on ESPN, both divisions of the Walt Disney Co.

ABC will be the exclusive broadcast home of the event and will “produce its own distinct telecast for the ABC audience,” separate from ESPN and NFL Network, during the first two nights of coverage.

ESPN will take the lead on Day 3, with a simulcast on ABC.

The Draft will be among the jewel events in a year-long celebration of the NFL's 100th anniversary.

The 2018 NFL Draft was covered across NFL Network, Fox, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

According to the NFL, “The broad distribution helped grow the combined rating and viewership by 25% and 20% respectively. over 2017.

“The expanded coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft marked the first time ever that the entirety of the live three-day event was aired on broadcast television.”

The prime-time 2019 Draft specials on ABC will be supported by ESPN's College GameDay, ESPN and ABC personalities and other special guests and telecasts on ESPN and NFL Network offering NFL analysis.

"The addition of broadcast television for all three days of the 2018 NFL Draft helped to bring this important offseason event to even more fans and resulted in the highest rated and most viewed draft ever," Brian Rolapp, chief business and media officer for the NFL, said via the league.

"We're looking forward to once again broadcasting all three days of the NFL Draft and excited to have another member of the Disney family with us to help grow this event and showcase the future stars of the NFL."

The NFL 2018 Draft was held in AT&T Stadium, home for the Dallas Cowboys.

According to a report compiled by VisitDallas, the 2018 Draft generated $125.2 million in economic impact for the Dallas region during the 3-day event, including $74 million in direct spending. This marks the first time that the NFL Draft has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region.

All 2019 NFL Draft telecasts on ABC/ESPN and NFL Network will be streamed live on an authenticated basis via the ESPN app and NFL app, respectively. The draft will also be covered across all three days by ESPN Radio and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

"ESPN is constantly seeking opportunities to innovate and expand our coverage of major events and the NFL Draft is a perfect example of that,” ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said via the network, which has presented the annual NFL Draft since 1980.

“With ESPN networks and platforms, and the addition of ABC as the exclusive broadcast home to the Draft, we will bring more resources than ever before as we introduce fans to the next generation of NFL players."

2019 NFL Draft TV Coverage:

• Round 1: Thursday, April 25 (8 PM ET)
ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes

• Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 26 (7 PM ET)
ABC, ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes

• Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 27 (Noon ET)
ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes

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