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NFL Draft 2021 Is Third Most-Watched Draft Ever

nfl fans celebrate during game 1

The 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland was seen by an average audience of 6.1 million viewers (TV + Digital) across ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and digital channels for the three-day event, making it the third most-watched Draft ever.

With 6.1 million viewers, 2021 is basically flat compared to 2019 (6.2 million), which is the second most-watched draft behind 2020 (8.3 million).

This year, the city of Cleveland averaged a 10.9 HH rating for the NFL Draft, which is the highest-rated local market for 2021 and the highest host city Draft rating on record since different cities began hosting the event in 2015.

All seven rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft were presented across ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network – the third straight year The Walt Disney Company worked with the National Football League to offer a multi-network presentation of the Draft for all seven rounds.

The second annual virtual Draft-a-Thon live fundraiser had an average daily reach of 5 million devices and 17 million total views across NFL O&O, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Yahoo, Reddit, Twitch and AVOD platforms.

ESPN’s livestream coverage of the Draft went out to five platforms: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, the ESPN App, and – for the first time ever – TikTok. Those streams tallied 8.9M total views and 57.7M minutes of watch time (live). The views were up +41% from the 2019 similar presentation.

Due to the unique presentation and circumstances surrounding the 2020 NFL Draft, the most balanced viewership comparison is to the 2019 NFL Draft.