Make fun of it all you want — and I’ve taken my share of shots over the years — but the NFL Draft pulls down the ratings for the two networks that televise the event.
According to the overnight ratings just released by The Nielsen Company, the first-round coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft drew a combined total viewership of 25.3 million viewers on ESPN and NFL Network.
The networks posted a combined average rating of 5.28, which is an all-time high and represents an 18 percent increase over last year’s first round, which drew a 4.46 average rating. The 2011 NFL Draft was the first one to be televised in the three-day format currently in use this weekend.
The combined two network average of 8.1 million viewers also represents a 16 percent increase over 2011, and it now ranks as the second most-watched first round ever, behind only the 8.3 million who watched in 2010.
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