First night of NFL draft averages 12.1 million viewers, a 6% increase over last year

Michigan Football players stand on stage during the second round of the NFL football draft, Friday, April 26, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — The first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night averaged 12.1 million viewers on television and digital platforms, a 6% increase over last year.

It is the highest day one viewership since 2021, when there was an average audience of 12.6 million.

ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and the league's digital channels aired Thursday's coverage. The league and Nielsen said that 34.3 million viewers tuned in at some point to watch the first round.