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NFL draft averages 11.4 million viewers for first night

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze the Texans’ move to select C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and explain why he didn’t deserve the negative talk before the draft.

For as big as the draft is, the TV audience pales in comparison to a real prime-time game.

The NFL has announced that the multi-network audience (on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, and digital) generated an average audience of 11.4 million viewers.

It’s an 11-percent bump over 2022.

The total unduplicated audience was 34.2 million, a two-percent increase over last year.

By way of comparison, prime-time and late-afternoon games on three-letter networks routinely attract well over 20 million viewers on average. The wild-card game played in January between Dallas and Tampa Bay on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 drew an average crowd of 31.2 million.