ESPN, ABC, NFL Network Combine for Encompassing Linear, Digital Presentation of 2020 NFL Draft
The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented across ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network from April 23-25 – the second straight year that The Walt Disney Company has worked with the National Football League to offer a multi-network presentation for all seven rounds. The 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefitting six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. The National Football League, ESPN, and ABC hope the 2020 NFL Draft will bring fans a small but welcome diversion in the middle of a difficult and unprecedented time.
ESPN and NFL Network will combine to offer a singular presentation across both networks, while ABC will present its own distinctive, prime-time telecasts for rounds 1-3, in addition to simulcasting the ESPN and NFL Network telecast of rounds 4-7.
The 2020 NFL Draft telecasts – originally scheduled to be on-site in Las Vegas, Nevada – will now originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios and adhere to proper social distancing guidelines and local workplace rules due to COVID-19. Draft hosts and a limited number of commentators will be in-studio while a majority of the analysts, reporters and other experts will contribute remotely from home studios. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce the picks from his home.
As previously announced, the NFL Draft will also feature a “Draft-A-Thon” which will pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. Funds will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts.
“We recognize the challenging times we are living in, but we are looking forward to presenting the 2020 NFL Draft and providing some hope for football fans everywhere,” said Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production. “For the past couple of years, ESPN’s NFL and college teams have worked together on our draft coverage, and it has been a win for our viewers. This year, we are further excited to collaborate with the NFL Network creating an All-Star broadcast. We are also committed to producing the ESPN/NFL Network and ABC shows in the safest possible environment for our announcers and production teams.”
“We are excited to partner with ESPN to present a unique and collaborative broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Network. “By bringing the exceptional on-air talent and production staffs of both ESPN and NFL Network together, we hope to deliver a unified presentation of the draft that not only helps raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 relief efforts, but also provides entertainment that millions of sports fans have been craving.”
NFL Draft Schedule (April 23-25):
- Thurs, April 23 (8-11:30 p.m. ET): NFL Draft, Rd 1 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
- Fri, April 24 (7-11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rds 2 and 3 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
- Sat, April 25 (12-7 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rds 4–7 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
ESPN and NFL Network:
Trey Wingo will host all three days of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for the fourth consecutive year, based in Bristol. Wingo will be joined remotely by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. (37th draft), Louis Riddick (sixth), and Booger McFarland (third). NFL Network host Rich Eisen (17th), Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah (eighth), and Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin (ninth) and Kurt Warner (10th) will also contribute remotely all three days. ESPN NFL host Suzy Kolber will conduct remote interviews with NFL draftees from an ESPN studio, and ESPN Senior NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will again be part of the three-day telecast, providing updates from their respective homes.
Hosts Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and Maria Taylor will lead ABC’s unique prime-time presentation of the NFL Draft on April 23-24. Featuring NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay (12th draft, first commentating on all seven rounds) and college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit (third), Desmond Howard (third), David Pollack (third), and correspondent/feature reporter Tom Rinaldi, ABC will focus on storytelling and the journey draft prospects and their families have taken to get to the NFL. Davis, Palmer, Taylor, and Rinaldi will be in-studio in Bristol.
McShay will join Wingo and the ESPN/NFL Network crew for Rounds 4-7 on Sat., April 25.
ESPN reporters will cover the NFL Draft remotely for ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network. Assignments include:
- Josina Anderson (covering Vikings, Redskins, Browns, 49ers)
- Jeff Darlington (Dolphins, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Chiefs)
- Dan Graziano (Packers, Lions, Chargers, Panthers, Raiders)
- Sal Paolantonio (Giants, Ravens, Eagles, Jets)
- Mike Reiss (Patriots)
- Dianna Russini (Titans, Bengals, Saints, Falcons)
- Ed Werder (Broncos, Seahawks, Cowboys, Cardinals)
The 2020 NFL Draft will also be streamed live via a number of NFL and ESPN digital properties across devices (Phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs). NFL Network or ESPN authentication may be required.
NFL Digital Platforms
- NFL App
ESPN Digital Platforms
- ESPN App
ESPN Deportes will also provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. Commentators include Monday Night Football voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega. In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will have a team dedicated to covering the draft, providing pre-draft analysis, pieces written by Sebastian Martinez Christensen and videos of every selection.
Radio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be provided by SiriusXM, Westwood One, and ESPN Radio. Digital audio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app. ESPN Radio commentators include host Dari Nowkhah, NFL Front Office Insider Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN New York’s Bart Scott (Thurs/Fri), NFL Draft analyst Jim Nagy (Sat), and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons with updates from Marc Kestecher.