Report: 2020 NFL Draft Likely to Feature Combined Telecast by ESPN, NFL Network

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 29: Journalist Rich Eisen and SiriusXM host, Chris
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

ESPN and NFL Network are reportedly considering producing a combined broadcast for the 2020 NFL draft amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Peter King of NBC Sports reported there is "momentum building" toward doing the broadcast out of ESPN's Bristol, Connecticut, studios, which would see talent from both networks share the screen. NFL Network's studios in Culver City, California, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, are currently closed as a result of those respective states' shutdowns.

ABC is planning a separate broadcast for the draft that would not be affected by ESPN or NFL Network.

ESPN and NFL Network typically broadcast separate coverage, featuring their own hosts and analysts. While the NFL touts all numbers in terms of ratings, and NFL Network typically lags behind from a ratings perspective, there is a clear sense of competition about which draft broadcast is the "best."

The uniqueness and uncertainty regarding the 2020 broadcast—it's still unclear how the NFL plans to announce the picks—makes cooperation not only likely, but perhaps a necessity. Combining coverage would limit the amount of people who have to work on each respective production crew.

The NFL has taken some criticism for going about business as usual during the pandemic. Its business partners finding a way to team up may help quell some of the displeasure. 

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