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Putting a Bow On the Draft: What Do You Think of the New Draft Format?

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For the first time in its history, the NFL Draft was stretched out over a three-day time period, rather than the two days we had become accustomed to in the past.  From a ratings standpoint, it was a raging success, with more people having watched the draft this year than ever before.  A record 8.3 million viewers watched the first ever prime-time broadcast of the draft when it happened on Thursday night. . .a figure which crushed not only everything on cable, but the majority of what the networks put out that night as well.  All in all, over the three day broadcast, 45.4 million viewers watched the 2010 NFL Draft.

I personally felt that there were pros and cons to the new format that we've been given.  For starters, the first round being broadcast in prime time gave it a new air of excitement and interest that seemed to be a bit lacking in past years.  (Granted, a lot of that got blown up when our Beloved Purple traded out of the first round, but for most of the night it was still there.)  While the draft was more or less for the hardcore fan before, putting it on in prime time seemed to put it more into the mainstream than perhaps it had been in the past.

However, I think that the negatives outweighed the positives, strictly from a personal standpoint.  For starters, with the time the draft started, the first round concluded at right about midnight on the east coast.  Now, that's fine if you're a fan of the Rams or the Lions or the Buccaneers or another team that picked fairly early in the evening.  You got to see your team pick, and that was that.  However, if you're a fan of the Jets, Vikings, Colts, or Saints, that's quite a bit of time to try to stay awake, particularly on a Thursday night.  Now, the hardcore viewers are going to stay up and watch it, anyway (and, in all likelihood, spend the next day at work surfing the internet for coverage of their team's selections).  I was on leave this past week, so it didn't really affect me personally, but there's a very good chance that it could in the years to come. . .because you know with the ratings it received, this new format isn't going away any time soon.

It's not that I'm against the three day format, per se. . .but if you're going to do this over three days, why not do it over Friday-Saturday-Sunday instead?  Seriously, what is there on Friday night, ratings-wise, that is going to trump the NFL?  It's not like you're going against American Idol or CSI: Boise or something.  And it would still allow your hardcore fans to go on the weekend-long football bender that we had become accustomed to over the years and not have to worry about ticking off our bosses with unrivaled levels of non-productivity on Friday.

What did you folks think of the new draft format compared to the old one?  Do you like the three day format better than the two day weekend drafts that we've gotten in the past?  Is Thursday-Friday-Saturday something you're alright with?  Go ahead and feel free to discuss it below.

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