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ABC to present coverage of all 3 days of NFL Draft


Mon, Apr 13th 2020 02:30 pm

ABC to showcase distinctive prime-time broadcasts of rounds 1-3 Thursday & Friday Night

ESPN, NFL Network combine for a singular presentation across both networks

2020 NFL Draft to raise funds and support for COVID-19 relief efforts

Hosts to be primarily based at ESPN’s Bristol studios with other experts contributing remotely from around country

The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, 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. ESPN and NFL Network will combine to offer a singular presentation across both networks, while ABC will present its own distinctive, primetime telecasts for rounds 1-3, in addition to simulcasting the ESPN and NFL Network telecast of rounds 4-7. The 2020 NFL Draft on ABC will air Thursday, April 23 (8 p.m. EDT), and Friday, April 24 (7 p.m.), live coast to coast.

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. A press release said the NFL, ESPN and ABC hope the NFL Draft will bring fans a small but welcome diversion in the middle of a difficult and unprecedented time.

The 2020 NFL Draft telecasts – originally scheduled to be on-site in Las Vegas, Nevada – will now originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut, 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 health care 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 of 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 the 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):

  • Thursday, April 23 (8 p.m.): NFL Draft, round 1 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
  • Friday, April 24 (7 p.m.): NFL Draft, rounds 2-3 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
  • Saturday, April 25 (noon): NFL Draft, rounds 4-7 – ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

ABC’s unique primetime telecasts of the NFL Draft, April 23 and 24, will be led by hosts Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor, 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 the journey of the NFL Draft prospects, as viewers go up close and personal to understand the part their families play in their success and the hard work involved in attempting to become an NFL Draft selection. 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 Saturday, April 25.

ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage will feature Trey Wingo hosting all three days 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) also will 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. 

ESPN reporters will cover the NFL Draft remotely for ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. Assignments include the following:

  • 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
  • NFL.com
  • ESPN Digital Platforms
  • ESPN App
  • ESPN.com

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.

Live radio coverage will be provided by SiriusXM (rounds 1-7), Westwood One (round 1) and ESPN Radio (rounds 1-7). ESPN Radio commentators include host Dari Nowkhah, NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN New York’s Bart Scott (Thursday/Friday), NFL Draft analyst Jim Nagy (Saturday) and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons with updates from Marc Kestecher.

Digital audio of NFL Network’s coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app.

For more information on ESPN’s NFL coverage, visit ESPN Press Room.

For more information on the NFL, NFL Network and the 2020 NFL Draft, visit NFL.com or NFL Communications.

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