It’s become obvious that the public’s interest in professional football has at least temporarily faded as a result of the work stoppage. It feels weird to write this, but the viewership was down for last night’s NFL draft.
The first round was watched by 7 million people on NFL Network and ESPN last night, according to MSNBC’s Darren Rovell. That’s a 15 percent drop-off from the 8.3 million that tuned in last year.
Some potential factors:
1) The lockout. Obviously.
2) The Royal Wedding. Just kidding.
3) The lack of sex appeal. Let’s face it: Cam Newton’s a big name, but after him there was a massive drop-off in terms of star power at this year’s draft. Last year’s draft wasn’t exactly filled with rockstars, but I think Tim Tebow might have been a bigger draw than Newton.
At the end of the day, this entire thing can probably be blamed on the labor situation.
But don’t panic, NFL fans. Some context: the draft still nearly doubled two NBA playoff games in terms of viewership.