With nothing else for sports fans to watch, the NFL draft drew a big TV audience on Thursday night.
Although national numbers are not yet available, the audiences for select markets were released this morning, and they showed significant gains. According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, overnight ratings for ABC, ESPN and NFL Network were up compared to last year by 13 percent in New York, 38 percent in Chicago and 52 percent in both Philadelphia and Boston.
The full audience number will not be known until later on Friday, but those four markets are all among the Top 10 markets in the United States, so increases those big in such large markets indicate a massive national audience.
America has been sorely lacking in live sports since the coronavirus pandemic shut down every professional league in March, and the draft made for a welcome opportunity for sports fans to enjoy something together again. A lot of sports fans took advantage of that opportunity.