Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Jul 2009

2010 Draft To Start Thursday Night

Yes, Thursday night. Why they would want to go up against the ratings juggernaut that is TNA wrestling on Spike TV is beyond me.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 23 Jul 2009

47 comments, Last at 28 Jul 2009, 11:37pm by jimmo


by Theo :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 5:19pm

Wrestling.... (pause)... stupid Americans.

by Dean :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 8:45am

...and stupid Englishmen. And stupid Japanese. And stupid Mexicans. And stupid Indians. And stupid Canadians. And, yes, stupid Americans.

by phillyangst :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 5:44pm

Sorry NFL and your sponsors, I'll be watching the draft Friday morning in the Sports section of my local newspaper.

by Sean D (not verified) :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 5:56pm

So they won't air any part of the draft on the day that most NFL fans associate with the sport?

I'd be more inclined to like this move if it wasn't for the late afternoon start time. If I want to watch the draft live I'll have to make it home by 4:30 on Thursday and 3 on Friday. Something tells me my work won't like that. So, I guess I'll be using the DVR and those commercials I used to have to see when I watched the draft live on Saturdays and Sundays will get skipped over.

by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 6:08pm

In fairness, they can't very well start at 8 PM when the first round lasts six hours.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 8:16am

Please clarify ... 8pm no good ... 7:30pm is good ... even being fair how does that 30 mins realistically make a difference, it's 2-3 picks by the end of the round ...

by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 9:26am

Easily enough done. I read the comments before the article and assumed the draft started 4:30 local time.

by Tom Gower :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 6:06pm

Well, this is probably better than waiting until May like they had penciled in on the calendar. Guess that'll have to wait for the 2012 draft, after the 18 game season.

by bubqr :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 6:09pm

Still don't understand wrestling. I've made efforts to understand and start to like hockey, american football and baseball, but wrestling ? I really can't.

by tuluse :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 12:55am

It's not a sport. It's a soap opera with action.

by jebmak :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 9:24am

I liked it as a kid, and I found the book "Controversy Creates Cash" fascinating, but I am not a fan. I prefer MMA. My wife saw pro-wrestling after seeing MMA and couldn't believe that anyone would watch it because it seemed so fake.

It is exactly what tuluse said though, a soap opera for men. Not all women like soap operas for women either.

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:44am

In the words of the late sportscaster Chris Thomas. "It's[Professional Wrestling] America's last great morality play."

by BHW (not verified) :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 6:12pm

Well, there goes my tradition of watching the draft. I'm glad that they're moving it from Saturday, when everyone can watch, to Thursday at a time when a good portion of the country is still at work and can't. Good way to get more viewers, and basically fuck over at least this NFL fan.

by *Legion* (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 2:16pm

Buy a DVR and complain less.

Don't listen to the radio on the drive home. Fire up the recording, fast-forward through the long lulls between the early picks, and you'll be caught up in no time.

by Lou :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 6:55pm

this just reduces the value of watching the first round. you know over the course of the next two days of the draft you're going to see highlights of all the first round guys, so why bother watching the first round when the office is on?

by Joseph :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 8:20pm

To those who have commented on wrestling:
Vince's wrestling comment is sarcastic.

To everyone else: I am going to bet that the NFL feels that the majority of Thursday PM programming is watched by non-NFL fans, and that those of us who care about our team would tune in if our favorite team was picking a 3 am local time. Thus, they can put the draft on whatever time/day they want, and they are confident that it WILL be watched. Financially speaking, if ESPN and Radio City Music Hall are on board with it (the NFL Network doesn't get much choice), then the NFL gets its TV money. If ESPN can't attract viewers and/or loses money by not being able to sell advertising, the NFL won't care as long as they get paid.

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:45am

Exactly. They know the diehard fans are going to watch regardless of when it is. They are trying to attract more casual fans to watch it. It's the same reason why the networks try to make the Sunday and Monday night games about "entertainment" rather than football - football fans are going to watch anyway and they are trying to attract the lesser and non-fans.

by BHW (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 2:15pm

They know the diehard fans are going to watch regardless of when it is.

Well, that's not true, as they just scheduled it at time when a large number of diehard fans can't watch it. I'm not going to take off work to watch the draft. Sure, I can DVR it (I do that on the Saturdays anyway, to fast-forward the nonsense), but it's not like it's such compelling television that I will feel the lack just following online from my office.

by Lew Alcindor (not verified) :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 10:56pm

Wow talk about ruining something golden with the mega-event Saturday draft and turning it into a bunch of stretched tinfoil!

This is another NFL Network scam. Sorry I'm not staying up that late for one pick. An incredibly bad idea fueled by greed over potential money that won't be there--the first wisps of bad NBA marketing has crept into the NFL.


by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 9:37am

Agreed. This sucks. I have a hard enough time getting to watch it now. No way I'm going to be able to see it on Thursday, and if the only day I'm going to get to see it is on Saturday, I'm not even going to bother to tune in for the later rounds. The most interesting part of the draft is the first few rounds, because those are the guys that might actually be playing this year, and they're the most likely candidates to be future stars. Only the Mel Kipers of the world care about the 7th round.

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:47am

But you're in the minority with not being able to watch on Thursday. The fact is that more people are available to watch on Thursday evenings than Saturday afternoons. That's why the networks put their top shows on Thursday nights and not Saturday afternoon.

by DrewTS (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:17am

Oh, I never said I thought people wouldn't watch it. They must think it'll get ratings, or they wouldn't be doing it, seeing as how this is a money grab.

by moses74 :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 3:02am

When I read this, I thought it was a joke headline, and it meant this Thursday.


by AB (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 4:04am

It might work quite well. Remember the first hour is consumed with the first handful of picks which we pretty much know anyone. The real interest in the first round is from pick #6 down to about #20.

by bmerryman :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 9:02am

Are some of you kidding me? Their ratings will be through the roof on Thursday night.

by S :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:11am

A Thursday night in April, when netwroks are still showing first-run shows and the NFL is broadcasting something fans can follow online or read about it their paper the next day? Not buying it.

Is it just me, or is the NFL over-thinking this? They got a tremendous amount of publicity for broadcasting what is essentially a 6 hour meeting/teleconference. Why mess with that? Is there market research indicating that there's more money to be gained here?

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:48am

Actually a lot of the network shows are in reruns in April because they are holding the last batch of new episodes for the May sweeps.

by jimmo :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 2:22am

May sweeps started April 24th in 2008, and April 23rd this year. April 22nd could be seen as a logical starting point for 2010, though I'm guessing the NFL already knows that info and set its schedule accordingly.

by Scott de B (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:22am

It might work quite well. Remember the first hour is consumed with the first handful of picks which we pretty much know anyone

It wasn't news at all when Houston passed on Reggie Bush to take Mario Williams?

by dmb :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:05am

It was news, but if I remember correctly, it was news that broke the day before the draft, when Williams signed a contract with Houston.

by AB (not verified) :: Sat, 07/25/2009 - 5:59am

Exactly - when was the last time the Commissioner stepped up holding the #1 pick in his envelope and we didn't know who it was?

I suppose the last time there was a real live-action story as the #1 pick was being taken was the Eli Manning draft.

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 10:50am

I like the move, but if they really want to attract viewers, they need to do what the NBA did and shorten the time for each pick. 15 minutes is just painful to watch, they need to cut it to 10 or lower if they really want to get more people to watch.

by dmb :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:09am

Personally, I'd rather allow front offices to have sufficient time to make decisions that could have long-lasting consequences for their franchises, rather than trying to, as one person put it, turn a teleconference into a watchable event.

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:37am

I agree, but if their objective is to have more casual fans watch, it's not going to happen with the current format.

by AB (not verified) :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 7:42am

Why does the team with pick #2 need 15 minutes to decide?

"Guys, is the #1 player on our draft board still there? If not, let's take #2".

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 11:39am

The reason they take 15 minutes is to listen to trade offers (or to try and generate trade offers). Most GM's would feel like they didn't do their jobs if they just picked someone without allowing possible trades to form.

by jimmo :: Tue, 07/28/2009 - 11:37pm

First round picks have been on a ten-minute timer for the last two drafts.

by jimmo :: Tue, 07/28/2009 - 11:37pm


by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 11:39am

Deleted - Double post

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 12:33pm

Being in England, I don't know American TV; but is there a good reason for going with Thursday night in late April over Friday night? You'd think more people would see a Friday show, and then Saturday with rounds 2-3 would be vaguely interesting.

by Dennis :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 1:33pm

Viewership is much higher on Thursdays than Fridays. I think Thursdays have the most viewers and Fridays have the second fewest (Saturdays have the fewest).

by *Legion* (not verified) :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 2:20pm

Thursday night = people are at home, gotta go to work tomorrow.

Friday night = no work tomorrow, people are OUT!

by Joe T. :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 12:48pm

Why don't they host it on the West Coast? Then they can start @ 4:30, and at least the East Coast will be tuning in. Better yet, host it in Hawaii. Then the teams can present their draftees with team-logo Hawaiian shirts instead of jerseys and the NFL can make a bundle on even tackier apparel.

by JFP (not verified) :: Sat, 07/25/2009 - 11:20am

All I need to know is what time the Patriots will be picking 32nd?

by mrparker (not verified) :: Sat, 07/25/2009 - 2:04pm

To all those wondering how to get out of work for a Thursday afternoon sporting event....I guess you never get to watch the first round of the NCAA tournament.

by bubqr :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 6:55am

Lions, Raiders, 49ers, Chiefs, Broncos fans have to be mad : they won't see their first player picked, they'll be at work. But for teams like Eagles, Pats, Giants, Steelers, Colts... They'll be home when their team will be on the clock.

by TomC :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 10:34pm

Boo. It may be a wise decision financially for the NFL, but I don't like it. Draft Saturday was one of my favorite afternoons of the year.