NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has officially notified teams that the NFL Draft is a-changin. Beginning in 2010, the NFL Draft will start Thursday April 22 and end Saturday April 24. Thursday April 22 will consist of just the first round, beginning at 7:30pm Eastern/4:30pm Pacific. Friday April 23 will consist of rounds two and three starting at 6:30pm Eastern/3:30pm Pacific. Saturday April 24 will consist of rounds four through seven and will kick off at 10am Eastern/7am Pacific.
Apparently 39 milion people watched the 2009 NFL Draft. That numer is probably a bit nebulous as I don't know if that number includes someone who flipped on ESPN or the NFL Network for 5 minutes for a quick update. Either way, the draft has become a wildly popular event and I'm not surprised that the NFL wants to get some of that weekday primetime advertising money.
Commissioner Goodell had the following to say:
"We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans," Goodell said in a statement. "Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television."
Anybody buy that? Obviously there's money to be had here, but on top of that, does that improve access to the draft? Given that it was airing on Saturday and Sunday I don't know. But, nonetheless, it is happening. Personally I liked the idea of powering through a weekend of draft talk. At the same time, spreading this over three days gives us a chance to take a breath and get some more quality analysis out there for you. In the end do you see this as a good thing, a bad thing, or indifferent?