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NFL draft has “total unduplicated audience” of 54.4 million viewers

Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate which teams came out on the upside from the 2023 NFL Draft, from the Eagles to the Texans and more.

For the NFL there is no offseason. Even when every other sport is in season.

The league has announced that a “total unduplicated audience” of 54.4 million tuned in at some point during the three days of the 2023 draft. That’s the absolute, maximum number. Everyone who tuned in and watched at least enough of it to register.

Viewership averaged 6.0 million per day. With Thursday night’s audience averaging 11.4 million, this means that the audience from Friday and Saturday dragged the Thursday average down by more than 47 percent.

The average audience increased by 12 percent over 2022, when 5.3 million tuned in for the draft.

It’s a small number in comparison to NFL regular-season and postseason games, but it underscores the ability of the NFL to bring together a live audience like nothing else. Especially when the NFL draft is ultimately a show about nothing.

It can be anywhere. It can be everywhere. It can be nowhere. It can be done by group text.

And yet millions tune in for it, and tens of thousands show up to loiter around a stage where not very much happens.

It’s frankly amazing that it’s all such a happening.