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ESPN plans faster yet deep NFL Draft coverage

by Mel Bracht Modified: April 25, 2008 at 6:17 am •  Published: April 25, 2008
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Pro football fans should enjoy the faster-paced NFL Draft this weekend from Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Last year's first round crawled to a finish in a sleep-inducing 6 hours, 8 minutes.


This year the time between picks has been trimmed from 15 to 10 minutes for the first round and 10 to seven minutes for round two.

Rounds 3 to 7 remain at five minutes.

Even with the slow pace, the draft still brought in good ratings last year, including a 4.4 in Oklahoma City.

Pushing back the start from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CDT) also should increase viewership, particularly on the West Coast.

ESPN producers have worked to trim the fat.

Some of the on-air talent has been dropped, including a separate set from Bristol, Conn., on Saturday.

"We need to be fleet-footed,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Jay Rothman said. "It's going to take a lot of discipline of people on the set. Everyone can pile on every subject matter that's when it becomes the tale wagging the dog.

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