Day One of 2018 NFL Draft Delivers Second Largest Audience of All Time

NFL Communications

Day One of 2018 NFL Draft Delivers Second Largest Audience of All Time

Ratings 2017 Post Season English


Broadest Network Coverage Ever Drives 27% Increase in Opening Night Rating


NFL Draft Most Discussed Sports Program on Social Media This Year Since Super Bowl LII


Round one of the 2018 NFL Draft, featuring the broadest coverage ever with NFL Network, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes delivered the second largest viewership in NFL Draft history for an opening night. The combined 11.2 million viewers and 7.0 HH rating were an increase of 22% and 27% respectively, over round one of the 2017 NFL Draft (NFL Network + ESPN).


The Draft also led the conversation on social, producing the most interactions on Instagram and Twitter of a sports program this year since Super Bowl LII.


  • 2018's 11.2 combined viewership is the second most-watched NFL Draft ever*
  • The combined viewership across all TV networks and FOX/ESPN/NFL digital streaming was 11.4M
  • In the local Dallas market, the NFL Draft delivered a combined 12.4 HH rating, up +118% versus last year

Digital and Social Highlights


  • Viewing across NFL and FOX digital streams delivered an average minute audience of 205K
  • NFL Digital Media had 1.1M devices stream Day 1 draft coverage, delivering an AMA of 147K
  • The 2018 NFL Draft was the second most discussed sports program this year, behind only the Super Bowl (Nielsen Social Content Ratings, ranked by total interactions on Instagram and Twitter).


*ESPN Nielsen numbers include digital