In what could be viewed as the latest example of the gradually weakening perception of the strength of network television's stronghold on primetime, the National Football League is reportedly exploring moving the first round of its 2010 college entry draft to a Thursday night in primetime, going head to head with what is network television's historically most powerful night.
According to the Dallas Morning News, one plan under consideration by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would see the first round on a Thursday night, the next two rounds on Friday evening and the final four rounds on Saturday. This year's format had the first two rounds on Saturday beginning at 4pm ET, with the remainder of the draft beginning Sunday morning.
The report says the draft would remain on cable networks ESPN and the league-owned NFL Network.
"We're more confident now, with the timing of the first round, that it can fit a 3½-hour window," Goodell told the Morning News. "We think it can be very appealing from a fan's standpoint and an audience standpoint.