ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network reporters, led by Ian Rapoport, make a living by breaking news on Twitter. They have legions of followers who eagerly anticipate every newsy tweet to keep up with the NFL. In fact, each network devotes time on game days for their reporters to break news.
Well, Schefter and Rapoport can give their thumbs a rest this week.
Executives at both networks have vowed not to let their reporters ruin the NFL draft, a made for TV event, this week. Both networks televise the NFL draft, and each has banned their reporters from revealing selections on Twitter before the pick is officially announced.
"Adam Schefter and I have spoken about this and decided that he will tweet potential trade talk, inside draft room rumblings, and added perspective to complement, not spoil, the broadcast,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman told SI.com. “Our viewers have told us clearly that they want the drama of the draft. Saying that viewers shouldn't be on Twitter during the draft or should unfollow him is ridiculous in 2014. Adam clearly owned the NFL offseason. If someone else wants to break some draft picks and spoil the drama, so be it."
Same rules apply to the NFL Network.
"Our staff [and] ESPN's staff that is in the know will not be announcing picks," NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger told SI.com. "As we all now, these guys can get each pick because the teams for years call the player they will pick before they pick them and that player, his family and his agent know he is getting picked. But in Round 1 and even in 2 and 3, [we] will not tip the pick. We want that drama so when Commissioner Goodell announces the pick, that is the first time the world hears where the player is going. I would also discourage non-ESPN and NFL Network ‘insiders’ from tipping picks but I can't police them."
In other words, CBS reporter Jason La Canfora can spend three days revealing picks, if he can track them down.
While some fans prefer to watch the drama unfold on television, both networks should find a better way to handle the second and third day of the draft. As picks come in, their analysts are often talking about a different subject, which forces viewers to watch the scroll. Teams usually make several picks on the final day that are not addressed, which is a more significant issue than selections being revealed on Twitter.
Of course, as long as the NFL Network does not mention the name “Leon Sandcastle” during its broadcast, fans will stay glued throughout the draft.
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