Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Later draft draws record viewership

NEW YORK — If the NFL needs proof of the popularity of a May draft, it has 32 million reasons.

Related News/Archive

Thursday's first-round coverage on ESPN and the NFL Network drew a combined viewership of 32 million, based on at least one minute of viewing, making it the most-viewed Round 1, the Nielsen Co. said. The 32 million is up from 2013's 25 million.

Thursday's combined ESPN and NFL Network coverage averaged a record 12.4 million viewers, topping the 8.3 million in 2010. It was the most-watched program on cable TV and second-most-watched overall.

Because Radio City Music Hall was not available for the draft's usual late April slot, the league moved the date.

Sam disappointed: Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted, said he should have been picked earlier than late in Round 7 by St. Louis. "From last season alone, I should've been in the first three rounds," he told the Rams' website. "SEC defensive player of the year, All-American."

Dolphins: The team fined cornerback Don Jones an undisclosed amount and ordered him to undergo educational training for his Saturday Twitter posts about Sam. Jones posted "omg" when TV showed Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted. Jones replied "horrible" to a Twitter follower asking if he was referring to the kiss. Jones apologized Sunday.

Undrafted signings

Bears: Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2013, signed as a running back. FSU linebacker Christian Jones signed.

Chargers: Auburn cornerback Chris Davis, who returned a missed field goal for the winning touchdown against Alabama last season, signed.

Colts: Erik Swoope, who played only basketball at Miami, signed.

Eagles: Florida tight end Trey Burton signed, as did Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, who will be a receiver or defensive back.

Vikings: Quarterback Kain Colter, who played a leading role in Northwestern players exploring forming a union, signed. He will play receiver.

Later draft draws record viewership 05/11/14 [Last modified: Sunday, May 11, 2014 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Steven Souza's two passions collide in charity fantasy football event

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Souza knows a thing or two about football.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  2. Vibe is good around Clearwater volleyball this season

    Volleyball Preps

    CLEARWATER — Katy Rice knows what a good volleyball team looks like, and the Clearwater coach believes she has a pretty good one this year. Rice was a left-side hitter on the only two teams to win a volleyball state championship at Clearwater, in 1997 and 2000.

    Clearwater High School girl's volleyball player Hailey Bosetti (OPP) plays the ball during team practice on Monday (8/14/17) at the school in Clearwater.
  3. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  5. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.