Limited Commercial Interruption throughout the First Hour of Round One
SportsCenter, NFL Insiders, NFL Live, Mike & Mike and First Take to Originate from Chicago
ESPN’s presentation of the 2016 NFL Draft – the company’s 37th consecutive year televising the event – begins Thursday, April 28, at 8 p.m. ET from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For the fifth straight year, the first hour of Round 1 will air with limited commercial interruption. ESPN will also televise Rounds 2-3 (Friday, 7 p.m.) from the Auditorium Theatre, as well as Rounds 4-7 (Saturday, 12 p.m.) from nearby Grant Park. A one-hour SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown (7 p.m.) precedes Thursday’s opening round. Production highlights:
- 400 player highlight packages
- 50 player personality bumps
- 25 specialty technical breakdowns with analysis from Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick, and Todd McShay
- 27 cameras, including two RF handheld cameras, two RF steadicams, and five jib cameras
- 20 player live shots
- Select draft room cameras from team sites
- Opening tease featuring Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
- Chicago bred rapper Rockie Fresh covers Bill Withers’ Who Is He (And What Is He To You)
ESPN NFL Draft Commentators:
- Thursday, April 28 (Round 1): Chris Berman hosts with veteran NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden, and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick. NFL Insider Adam Schefter, NFL host Suzy Kolber, and a team of ESPN bureau reporters providing updates from team sites will also contribute to the telecast.
- Friday, April 29 (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday, April 30 (Rounds 4-7): Trey Wingo hosts with Kiper, Riddick, Schefter, and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay.
- Commentator Release. Photos.
ESPN NFL Draft Programming Originating from Chicago (April 28-30):
|Thu, Apr 28||6-10 a.m.||Mike & Mike||ESPN Radio, ESPN2|
|10 a.m.-12 p.m.||First Take||ESPN2|
|1:30-2:30 p.m.||NFL Insiders||ESPN|
|2:30-3:30 p.m.||NFL Live||ESPN|
|7-8 p.m.||SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown||ESPN|
|8-11:30 p.m.||NFL Draft (Round 1)||ESPN,
|11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.||SportsCenter||ESPN|
|Fri, Apr 29||6-10 a.m.||Mike & Mike||ESPN Radio, ESPN2|
|10 a.m.-12 p.m.||First Take||ESPN2|
|1:30-2:30 p.m.||NFL Insiders||ESPN|
|2:30-3:30 p.m.||NFL Live||ESPN|
|7-11:30 p.m.||NFL Draft (Rounds 2-3)||ESPN/ESPN2, ESPN Radio|
|Sat, Apr 30||12-8 p.m.||NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7)||ESPN|
* All ESPN networks are available to stream live on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Schedule subject to change.
ESPN Radio will broadcast Rounds 1-3 of the 2016 NFL Draft from the Auditorium Theatre with host Dari Nowkhah, NFL Front Office Insider Bill Polian, and NFL Insider John Clayton. The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29. Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons will host post-draft coverage Thursday and Friday at 11:30 p.m. ET.
ESPN International will offer television coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 72 million households in 59 countries and territories throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Canada (on TSN). All rounds will simulcast in Mexico and Central America via the ESPNPlay broadband offering, and in Australia and New Zealand via the WatchESPN broadband offering. Rounds 1 and 2 will simulcast in Brazil via the WatchESPN broadband offering. Round 1 only will simulcast in South America (minus Brazil) via the ESPNPlay broadband offering.
Mike & Mike and First Take
Mike & Mike – hosted by Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg – and First Take – hosted by Molly Qerim with debaters Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith – will air live from Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum at Water Tower Place on Thursday, April 28, and Friday, April 29. Doors open at 4 a.m. CT for fans to watch the shows and gain free access to the museum during both programs. In Chicago, Mike & Mike can be heard on ESPN Chicago 1000AM. Mike & Mike airs from 6-10 a.m. ET weekdays on ESPN Radio, espnradio.com, ESPN Radio app, SiriusXM Channel 80, Apple iTunes Radio, Slacker Radio, TuneIn, and is simulcast on ESPN2. First Take airs nationally from 10 a.m.-noon ET weekdays on ESPN2.
ESPN Chicago 1000
Throughout the week of April 25, ESPN Chicago 1000AM will offer in-depth analysis of the NFL Draft across all talk shows, featuring live interviews with many ESPN and NFL-related guests. Details:
- Tuesday, April 26: Waddle & Silvy (2-6 p.m. CT), hosted by Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman, will broadcast live from The Public House with guests Adam Schefter and John Clayton.
- Wednesday, April 27: ESPN Chicago 1000 will host a private show for ESPN Radio listeners starring Frank Caliendo at Joe’s on Weed.
- Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29: Carmen & Jurko (Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic, 9 a.m.- noon CT) and Kap & Co. (hosted by David Kaplan, noon-2 p.m. CT) will broadcast live from the Auditorium Theatre, site of the NFL Draft. Waddle & Silvy will broadcast live from Chicago Cut Steakhouse on Thursday and from the Auditorium Theatre on Friday.
In addition to the shows originating from Chicago, ESPN continues its more than 110 hours of NFL Draft-related studio programming. Highlights:
- SportsCenter Special: GMs Roundtable (April 25 at 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) Trey Wingo hosts the hour-long special with former NFL general managers Mark Dominik, Bill Polian, and Phil Savage.
- SportsCenter Special: NFL Nation Mock Draft (April 26 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN) Wingo hosts this 90-minute special featuring ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters, with Todd McShay and Polian providing analysis. Following the show, ESPN.com will post the selections NFL Nation reporters made for Round 1. A same-day encore presentation begins at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
- E:60 (April 26 at 10 p.m. ET, ESPN) This hour-long special, focused on the NFL, includes an in-depth profile of top draft prospect Ezekiel Elliott and the gripping story of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who opens-up for the first time about the brutal murder of his father and his relationship with the man imprisoned for doing it. The special will also feature a light-hearted piece with Massachusetts seventh-grader Ben Goodell, who, as part of a school science project, proved Tom Brady’s innocence in “Deflategate”.
ESPNU will again air encore presentations of college games highlighting top prospects. Schedule:
|Mon, Apr 25||1 p.m.||2015 CFP National Championship: Oregon vs. Ohio State (Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott)|
|7 a.m.||Ohio State vs. Michigan (Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott)|
|Tue, Apr 26||1 p.m.||2016 CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson (Derrick Henry)|
|6 p.m.||All Star Football Challenge|
|Wed, Apr 27||1 p.m.||2016 FCS Championship: Jacksonville vs. North Dakota (Carson Wentz)|
|Fri, Apr 29||12 a.m.||2015 Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Mississippi State (Dak Prescott)|
|1 p.m.||Michigan State vs. Michigan (Connor Cook)|
ESPN.com and ESPN Insider
ESPN.com will provide video-enhanced wall-to-wall coverage, built around signature voices Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Jon Gruden, John Clayton, Louis Riddick, and others. All 32 NFL Nation team reporters will be reporting live from team sites. Planned highlights for the three-day draft in Chicago:
- In real time: DraftCast and Draft Tracker, offering pick-by-pick data, team needs, analysis from Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. and video on all 256 prospects.
- NFL Nation reporters’ reactions on all picks and team-specific analysis all three days of the draft, including comprehensive team wrap-ups.
- Kiper’s winners and question marks (after each day of the draft) and best available players in the upcoming rounds.
- McShay’s Round 1 analysis of the best picks by each team and best available players in the upcoming rounds.
- Mock drafts previewing the coming rounds.
ESPN.com pre-draft coverage:
- Kiper and McShay’s live 90-minute primetime SportsCenter Special: Mel & Todd’s Mock Draft (today at 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) is paired with content in real time on ESPN.com.
- SportsCenter Special: NFL Nation Mock Draft (April 26 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN) is paired with online content.
- Gruden’s QB Camp video profiles and scouting reports on the top quarterbacks is paired with ESPN Insider content.
- Popular “Grade A” mock drafts from Kiper and McShay preview what they would do if they could pick for each team.
- Kiper and McShay’s evaluations on top needs for every team.
- Kiper and McShay’s top 300 prospects, and Kiper’s top prospects at every position – over 500 names deep.
- Final mock drafts from Kiper and McShay (released April 28).
ESPN.com post-draft staples:
- Saturday, April 30: The Mel Kiper Draft Grades – the foundation of SportsCenter Special: Draft Grades (May 1 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
- Sunday, May 1: Todd McShay’s popular file, Best and Riskiest Picks for All 32 teams.
- Monday, May 2: Your Draft Class: Highlights on every player, grades, best and worst picks, and Nation analysis on the class for all 32 teams. Plus, Kiper’s early-impact players.
- Wednesday, May 4: McShay’s early 2017 Mock Draft – among the most popular ESPN Insider stories of the year.
- Ten days after the draft: Kiper’s 2017 Way-Too-Early Big Board.
ESPN3 and WatchESPN
Through the end of the NFL Draft, WatchESPN will make replays of all eight Gruden’s QB Camp programs available on ESPN3, as well as the Pro Days from Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Stanford. Additionally, live coverage of the NFL Draft on ESPN will be accessible via WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft issue, currently on newsstands, features a cover story on North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz (by Kevin Van Valkenburg), profiles on Robert Nkemdiche (By Seth Wickersham) and Myles Jack (By Jordan Ritter Conn), a story on Paul DePodesta and the Browns’ draft woes (By David Fleming) and a Round 1 mock draft with Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.
ESPN is debuting a campaign for the 2016 NFL Draft with a new 30-second spot featuring music from recording artist Giovanni James. The commercial showcases the exciting atmosphere of the draft and highlights the unmatched insight fans get from Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick and other ESPN experts. The campaign was developed by ESPN’s in-house marketing team.
ESPN Social Media
ESPN’s social media initiatives surrounding the NFL Draft include custom hashtags for each team (i.e. #NYJpick), custom images of each player drafted in the first round with their new team, and live behind-the-scenes images of the NFL Draft and Draft Town in Chicago. Fans are invited to follow the action on Twitter (@ESPNNFL), Facebook (NFL on ESPN) and Instagram (@ESPNNFL).