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In Austin, Mel Kiper Kevin Durant

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According to the overnight ratings, the first round of the NFL draft is the most-viewed ever on ESPN.


ESPN averaged almost 7.7 million viewers on Thursday night during primetime, (7:00-10:00 pm), second only to CBS for the night.

Over 7 million viewers tuned in to watch Mel Kiper, Chris Berman and company stumblin', fumblin' and bumblin' through the prime time telecast of the first round. ESPN had more than its share of mishaps as they tried to deal with the quickened pace. Berman, Kiper, Jon Gruden and Steve Young tried to recover from video gaffes as the first round finished almost 2 hours quicker than last year. The quartet spent so much time trying to talk over each other that the other member of the crew, the venerable Tom Jackson, finally gave up and just became an innocent bystander.

In the overnights, the top five markets for the NFL Draft were:

1. Jacksonville
2. New Orleans
3. Austin
4. Cleveland
5. Oklahoma City


Kevin Durant and the Thunder held off Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Thursday night, drawing the most viewers for an NBA playoff game on cable this year.

While the NBA playoffs were no match for the NFL, Oklahoma City's 101-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers still drew over 3.9 million viewers, making it the third-most viewed program on cable for Thursday night.