More than 25 million combined viewers tuned in to ESPN and NFL Network to watch the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday, according to Nielsen ratings.
The combined average rating of 5.28 was an 18 percent increase over last year, and the average 8.1 million viewers made it the second-most-watched first round in draft history, behind the 8.3 million who watched the first stanza in 2010.
The NFL Network saw a 40 percent jump from last year with a record average of 1.4 million viewers.
The league's digital platforms, including NFL.com and mobile products, saw a 53 percent increase in unique visitors.
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