ESPN and NFL Network will combine for NFL draft telecast

Sports

FILE – In this April 25, 2019, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft in Nashville, Tenn. In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday, April 6, 2020, and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, FIle)

NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN and NFL Network will join forces for this year’s NFL draft. They will produce a broadcast that will air on both networks over all three days.

The April 23-25 draft was originally scheduled to be in Las Vegas but has been moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now originate from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

Draft hosts and a limited number of commentators will be in-studio but will adhere to social distancing guidelines. Other reporters and analysts will report remotely from home. Commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce first-round picks from his home in Bronxville, New York.

ABC will air a separate draft broadcast on Thursday and Friday before simulcasting the ESPN/NFL Network feed on Saturday.

The league previously announced that the draft will serve as a “Draft-A-Thon,” which will pay tribute to health care workers and first responders. Funds raised will help support six national nonprofits and their relief efforts.

ESPN has broadcast the draft since 1980. NFL Network launched in the fall of 2003. Their first two drafts were done remotely from Los Angeles before they started reporting on site in 2006.

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