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A TV commercial during the 2020 NFL Draft costs way, way more than usual

Rates are up as much as 50%, with ratings expected to be through the roof with most people watching in quarantine.

You’re probably quarantined at home while reading this, and you very likely miss sports. And while Covid-19 has been terrible for every professional sports league in the world, including the NFL on the whole, there is one silver lining:

Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE, is watching the NFL Draft tonight.

And that surge of popularity has made its way to the ad buy rates for ABC and ESPN, who are reportedly getting a cool $250,000 per 30 second commercial. That’s up significantly from the “mid-$100,000 range” ads for last year’s selection show in Nashville.

More than 100 companies have purchased ads over the three days of coverage, with 60 of them coming to the NFL Draft for the first time according to Jim Minnich, VP of Disney Advertising Sales. “We’ve seen, frankly, more demand than we have availability due to the pause in live sports,” he said.

Last year the draft saw over 47.5 million viewers check in over three days. With an average 6.1 million people watching during all coverage, and got a 3.9 rating, up 5% from 2018. And those numbers, with a captive audience at home dying for anything even tangentially related to the games we love, could be shattered over the next few days.

The NFL Draft begins tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC, with teams making selections from their homes using multiple forms of technology to get their choices in, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell getting booed even from his home. Stay here at DK Nation as we’ll have live coverage for all three days of the NFL Draft 2020, including how the betting lines will be affected by the picks and trades to come.