PRO: It didn’t feel like 15 hours…
Until this year, the NFL Draft was conducted over two of the longest days of the year. While the official time of the draft was 14 hours, 42 minutes, it was much more palpable over three days.
Thanks to new the relatively new timing rules (10 minutes in round one, seven in round two and five in the remaining rounds), things sped along quickly.
The first round lasted roughly three-and-a-half hours, while rounds two and three combined lasted slightly less than four—but because those spans were split over two days, it wasn’t unbearable.
And even though Day 3 was about as long as the average workday, the rapid fire of 157 picks in seven hours meant there was very little down time (assuming the Pats didn’t have back-to-back selections, of course).
Draft ratings were up 30% from 2009 for the first round, so clearly the split was effective on the surface.
CON: …Because you may have missed some of it
Even the league probably realizes that only true die-hard draftniks watched all 15 hours.
But in reality, some of those who want to be couldn’t.
The first round began at 7:30 PM EST. While that’s great for primetime viewership in the East, it’s tough for those in the Central time zone and horrible for people in Los Angeles.
Only half of the Top 12 picks came from teams in the Eastern time zone, and while fans in St. Louis knew their pick would be in between 6:30 and 6:40 local time, those fans in Seattle who wanted to catch the Seahawks’ first pick—which was made at 8:17 PM EDT—wouldn’t have been able to if they had a 9-to-5 job or a late-afternoon commitment.
Friday was even worse for the West Coasters, as the entire second round was over before 5:30 PM PDT…and Saturday’s 7 A.M. kickoff likely kept even the most ardent of fans from seeing the fourth and fifth (and possibly sixth) rounds.
If the first round ratings were up 30% despite this though, imagine what they would have been like if one-third of the country could have seen it in its entirety?