Wednesday September 27, 2023

Following NFL and NBA, ESPN Investing Big Into MLB Draft

  • Sports media giant to take lead role in event production
  • First round to be shown on ESPN+ for the first time
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Taylor Swift Takes NFL to New Heights

Taylor Swift and her rumored relationship have brought in a new, more female-heavy audience.
Listen Now
September 27, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

ESPN is putting unprecedented levels of production and promotional muscle behind the MLB Draft — hoping to bring its coverage closer in presentation to its much more popular NFL and NBA counterparts.

For the first time, the network will take a lead role in producing the MLB Draft — set to start this year July 9 — evolving from a prior, shared framework with the league. 

This year, the draft will also make its first appearance on ESPN+, supplementing first-round linear coverage on ESPN. The network is additionally boosting its coverage of Home Run Derby, which typically garners one of its largest audiences each summer. 

The network will once again feature primary coverage on ESPN and a StatCast alternate presentation on ESPN2, with the latter production supplemented with new 3D animations tracking ball flights.

The 2023 MLB Draft will be held at Seattle’s Lumen Field, home of the NFL’s Seahawks and MLS’ Sounders, as MLB will hold the event along with All-Star Game festivities for the third straight year.

Lagging Behind

Most MLB draft picks require time in the minor leagues — and despite recent milestones, college baseball has nowhere near the stature of college football and basketball. Historically, the MLB Draft hasn’t generated anything close to the TV audiences for the NFL and NBA Drafts, even with similar primetime slots.

The 2022 edition on ESPN and MLB Network drew a combined average audience of 843,000. The 2023 NFL Draft averaged 6 million viewers across four Disney-owned networks and the NFL Network, while the 2023 NBA Draft drew an event-record 4.9 million on ABC and ESPN.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Taylor Swift at Chiefs vs. Bears game.

Taylor Swift NFL Hype Likely To Continue Another Week

Swift could drive blockbuster TV ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

Lillard And Giannis Pairing Could Be Big For The NBA, Too

Bucks to be featured on national TV 19 times this season

Bay Area WNBA Expansion Latest Step In League Growth

A new team is reportedly coming to the Bay Area.

French Soccer Club Lyon Seeking $300M Capital Raise

The club was sold for a record price last French year.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Taylor Swift Takes NFL to New Heights (w/ Andrew Brandt)


Featured Today

Magic Johnson Open To Knicks Minority Ownership Stake

Basketball Hall of Famer only interested in specific NBA franchise
Golden State Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob walks alone the baseline during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center.
September 27, 2023

Warriors Owner Reportedly Adding A Bay Area WNBA Franchise

An official announcement could come as soon as early October.
NFL concussions
September 27, 2023

The NFL’s $1B Battle Over Concussion Settlement Heats Up

The NFL is seeking at least $1.2 billion from its risk carriers.
September 26, 2023

NFL's Swift Mania Starting To Show Impact Through Merch Sales, Viewership

Taylor Swift stole the NFL's spotlight by attending Sunday's Chiefs game.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Franchise expands broadcasting reach after reaching a deal with a local TV station.

Utah Jazz Launch Streaming Service Amid RSN Shakeup

An annual Jazz+ streaming pass will cost $125.50.
September 27, 2023

Will Sports Benefit From New Streaming Alliance?

Advocacy group involves many of sports streaming's largest players
Coach Prime bringing improved tv ratings.
September 26, 2023

Coach Prime's Colorado Changing College Football Viewing Habits

The excitement around Deion Sanders and Colorado is helping drive record September TV ratings for college football.
Chiefs-Bears was the most-watched NFL game on any network this week — averaging 24.3 million viewers on FOX.
September 26, 2023

CBS Nets 13-Year High in September NFL Viewership

This month’s NFL on CBS broadcasts averaged 18.69 million viewers.
Viewership for TNF on Amazon is up 21% through two weeks over last season.
September 26, 2023

Amazon Gets Back-to-Back 'Thursday Night Football' Ratings Wins

Amazon's TNF viewership is up 21% through two weeks over last season.
First Take vs. FS1
September 26, 2023

Sharpe: 'First Take' Would Still Beat 'Undisputed' Without Stephen A.

Even if Smith leaves, Sharpe said he will still beat Skip Bayless in the ratings.
September 25, 2023

ESPN Reportedly Closing Studios In Aftermath Of Layoffs

ESPN's Seaport studio will reportedly close by 2025.
Ohio State players celebrate after after their defeat of Notre Dame in the final seconds at Notre Dame Stadium.
September 25, 2023

Ohio State-Notre Dame Scores Historic 10.5M Viewers for NBC

It was NBC’s second-most-watched regular-season college football game ever.