The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

Online is the way to go

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When it was announced last year that the 2010 NFL draft would be televised in prime time, I thought it was a brilliant move. The first round is the real circus show of the event. It's the round about which endless mock drafts are predicted (though many prognosticators now hopelessly guess beyond into further rounds, if not the entire draft). The NFL invites many top prospects to the event to either walk out onto the stage with the commissioner or grow lonely as we watch the poor guys still left waiting in the green room. That sounded like a major TV event for a diehard NFL fan. And when the day came, I watched none of it.

Despite the record TV ratings I was not one of those tuned into either ESPN or the NFL Network. While both are available to me, I've grown numb to the insight (or lack thereof) spouted by the former players and other NFL personalities that are asked to fill all the dead air time before and in-between the draft picks. But I was still part of the mob of fans that "watched" the draft in it's new format.

Instead of watching the draft on TV, I spent nearly the entire time glued to NFL.com. According to the NFL press release, "NFL.com set records with its coverage of the 2010 NFL Draft. There were a record 12.5 million visits to NFL.com during the draft -- up 61 percent from last year -- and users watched 40 percent more video than a year ago." While the growth in TV ratings was up 23%, it was blown away by that 61% increase online.

That was definitely the way to go. The draft tracker page at NFL.com was automatically updated, as was the trade tracker, and approximately 15 minutes after each pick they published a link to video for each player. There was a brief scouting report available via hyperlink for each player as he was drafted, so instead of waiting to see if one of the talking heads was going to say anything about the player my favorite team just drafted, I got to read something right away.

Now it's got me thinking: how long can the televised version of the NFL draft survive? Maybe there will always be a place for it. There are still four times as many people watching on TV versus following it online, and maybe some people are doing both at the same time. In the past it's been a way to unwind on a lazy weekend. But after my online draft experience, it's become a three day event I can completely follow without having to spend the entire weekend stuck to my sofa. And online is the way I'll be following it again in the future.

By Brandon Benson  |  April 27, 2010; 9:33 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , NFL , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Driven Away from ESPN | Next: Drafting America's idols

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