It looks like the NFL Draft will abandon its Saturday-Sunday format in 2010. Instead, it will take place in primetime on a Thursday and Friday night and conclude on Saturday.
The audience for the NFL draft has been growing, and the league has responded by expanding the event from two to three days.
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified teams Thursday that the draft will be spread over three days in 2010, running Thursday, April 22, through Saturday, April 24.
In addition, the first round will start in prime time at 7:30 p.m. ET.
"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."
ESPN and the NFL Network will televise the entire show.
The second and third rounds will start at 6:30 p.m. ET on April 23.
Rounds 4 through 7 will be on April 24, starting at 10 a.m. ET.
Accessible to more fans my foot. I hate this plan. One of the great things about the Draft is you can build a weekend around it. You spend all day Saturday reading up and watching tv to see all the angles your team can go. People are going to rush home from work and get to bed early on Thursday. Not enough time for the long analysis you can make after your team's first round pick with an entire weekend afternoon in front of you.
The NFL wants to be able to get the exposure and ad revenue from putting the Draft in primetime. That's fine. Just please don't pretend this is about the fans.