This weekend it’s the Oscars, next weekend it’s the NFL Draft and The Walt Disney Company is going all out to promote and broadcast the event across many of its owned platforms, including ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and the ESPN app. ESPN again teamed up with Richmond, Va.-based Arts & Letters on the above spot promoting the weekend-long event.
ABC also is promoting the event during the 93rd annual Academy Awards on Sunday night:
Coverage of the three-day event running from Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1 includes 1,500 creative elements, 450 player highlight packages and 35 player vignettes. ESPN and ABC will document the event with 50 cameras and more than 50 microphones following all the live action in Cleveland. More than 40 additional cameras will be on location at draft prospects’ homes across the country while another 32 cameras follow each NFL Draft room.
On ESPN, veteran sportscaster Mike Greenberg will host primetime telecasts in Cleveland on April 29 and 30 with senior NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., NFL analysts Louis Riddick and Booger McFarland, senior NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, and NFL host Suzy Kolber, who will interview draftees. This marks the 42nd time ESPN has hosted the draft.
On ABC, Rece Davis will host primetime broadcasts in Cleveland on April 29 and 30 with college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard and senior NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay. From a nearby set, Maria Taylor will host with college football analysts Jesse Palmer and David Pollack. Taylor will also interview the family members of NFL draftees.
On day three, the ABC and ESPN teams will combine to present the NFL Draft with Davis, Kiper, McShay, Riddick, Mortensen and Schefter.
The ABC and ESPN teams will also preview the NFL Draft on editions of College GameDay and NFL Draft Countdown. Pre-event coverage begins April 29-30 at 5 p.m. ET and Saturday at 11 a.m. ET, all on ESPN. Davis and Taylor will host College GameDay April 29-30 and Laura Rutledge will host on May 1. Rutledge will also report from the red carpet for College GameDay prior to round one. Greenberg will host NFL Draft Countdown.
On Spanish-language sports network ESPN Deportes, Monday Night Football voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega will deliver coverage from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, with reporters Rebeca Landa and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen on hand.
ESPN’s coverage of the 2021 NFL Draft also will air internationally, reaching more than 60 million households in Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, the Netherlands and Africa.
On ESPN Radio, SportsCenter anchors Elle Duncan and Kevin Negandhi will lead NFL Draft broadcasts April 29-30 from Bristol, Connecticut, alongside NFL Front Office Insider Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN Radio’s Bart Scott and reporter Ian Fitzsimmons. Duncan and Kevin Negandhi also will kick off next Thursday and Friday morning by co-hosting ESPN’s Get Up from 8-10 a.m. ET. ESPN Radio’s coverage will continue on May 1 with host Jason Fitz, NFL Draft analyst and Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy, Tannenbaum and Fitzsimmons. Saturday’s NFL Draft on ESPN Radio coverage will also be simulcast on many of ESPN’s digital and social platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.
In addition to airing live on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and the ESPN App, the 2021 NFL Draft will be televised on NFL Network presented by Verizon and streamed live through NFL digital properties. SportsNation’s NFL Draft Digital Show also will stream rounds one through three live. Further, ESPN will surround the three-day event with coverage across all platforms and countdown to round one with a 26-hour Draft Marathon across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS.
ESPN’s live NFL Draft digital show will be anchored by SportsNation on Thursday and Friday and available across the ESPN App, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and – for the first time for an ESPN studio production – TikTok. The show will focus on reactions and engagement from fans both on-site in Cleveland and across social media.
Ashley Brewer, Treavor Scales, and Mike Golic, Jr. will host from the main set in Bristol, Conn., and will be joined by a lineup of ESPN’s digital commentators including Mina Kimes and Harry Lyles as well as instant analysis from Matthew Berry, Jason Fitz and Field Yates. Together, this team will cover every pick through the fans’ perspective along with off-stage moments. The show will also feature first-round reaction from First Take commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman and player vignettes from SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi.
A multicast show with ESPN Radio will be live-streamed for Saturday’s coverage featuring Golic Jr., Scales and Yates.
The following NFL reporters will appear on a variety of shows sharing the latest news from around the league: Jeff Darlington (covering the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jaguars, Packers), Dan Graziano (Bengals, Chargers, Giants, Lions, 49ers), Kimberley A. Martin (Bills, Browns, Panthers, Vikings, Washington), Sal Paolantonio (Colts, Eagles, Jets, Ravens, Steelers), Mike Reiss (Patriots), Dianna Russini (Bears, Falcons, Raiders, Saints, Titans), Lindsey Thiry (Rams) and Ed Werder (Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Seahawks, Texans).
Laura Rutledge will host “NFL Live” from Cleveland April 28-30 with NFL analysts Mina Kimes, Dan Orlovsky, Marcus Spears and Ryan Clark. The daily NFL news and information show will air at its regular time on April 28 (4-5 p.m. ET) and expand to two hours April 29-30 (3-5 p.m. ET), leading into College GameDay. The noon EDT edition of “SportsCenter” will also expand for draft coverage April 29-30, airing live until 3 p.m. EDT. Rutledge will host segments from Cleveland during the three-hour programs.
SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt will air at 11:30 p.m. ET on ESPN following primetime presentations of the draft with more reaction, analysis and interviews. Leading up to the draft, editions of SportsCenter will air related content including a series narrated by anchor Kevin Negandhi that explores the draft needs of the Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, 49ers and more, as well as a virtual reality series with analyst Dan Orlovsky breaking down the top five quarterbacks. SportsCenter also will air draft-related excerpts from other ESPN shows including Hey Rookie, Detail: Tebow, QB21 with Kirk Herbstreit, and a series of vignettes on draft prospects.
Off-Disney’s own platforms, Louis Riddick will join NFL Network’s NFL Total Access and David Pollack will join the network’s NFL Now, continuing a draft tradition of cross-network collaboration. ESPN2 will also simulcast NFL Network’s Good Morning Football April 29-30 from 7-10 a.m. EDT. Additionally, the Draft-a-Thon will be featured across live draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and NFL Network April 29-May 1.
College-football focused SEC Network is televising SEC Featured: Draft Special, a look at the best storytelling surrounding the top potential draft picks from the Southeastern Conference. Airing now through April 29, the show is hosted by SEC Network host/reporter Alyssa Lang. Additionally, SECN has featured regular draft analysis and expert interviews throughout its daily programming, including The Paul Finebaum Show and SEC Now.
ACC Network will air an hourlong The Huddle: Draft Preview on April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. Host Kelsey Riggs along with ACCN college football analysts Eric Mac Lain and EJ Manuel will break down what make college players successful at the professional level. The show also will cover player arrivals and interviews leading into ESPN and ABC’s NFL Draft coverage.
Every day leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, ESPN’s morning debate show First Take, featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and host Molly Qerim Rose – will continue its “Draft Blitz” segments where the trio breaks down one team’s needs, goals, options and much more. In addition, First Take will preview the overall draft before the start of round one with a special edition on April 29 as well as recap each round the following morning with special guests.
ESPN’s daily sports betting news and information program Daily Wager will have NFL Draft content every day leading up to the draft, including discussing draft prop bets for every team in the league. Daily Wager will dedicate nearly all of its April 28 show to draft content, airing from 6-7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The weekday show will air at an earlier time April 29-30 at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Other draft-related content also will appear on streaming service ESPN+, multiplatform content initiative The Undefeated, and on ESPN.com and ESPNDeportes.com.
Finally, ESPN and Marvel Studios teamed for some cross-platform draft content, designing custom comic book covers depicting seven draft prospects – Najee Harris, Trevor Lawrence, DeVonta Smith, Azeez Ojulari, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Kwity Paye and Zach Wilson. The covers feature Marvel themes that pay homage to original Marvel Comics covers while promoting the upcoming NFL Draft. Covers will be unveiled in the days leading up to the Draft, with Lawrence’s cover being revealed live on College GameDay during April 29 draft coverage.