ESPN and the NFL Network will have extensive coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft and both networks have agreed to prevent employees from tweeting draft picks before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces them, according to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch.
Twitter's increasing popularity has dampened the mystique of the NFL Draft to some fans throughout the league. Instead of waiting for Goodell to announce the next pick, fans can often head to Twitter minutes in advance to see who will be selected. Essentially, Twitter served as a spoiler in years past for the NFL Draft.
The agreement is only valid for the first two rounds.
ESPN NFL senior coordinating producer Seth Markman believes the no-tweeting edict is the right thing for NFL fans and for his network.
"The majority of the people we have heard from say they prefer not to be told in advance," he said. "Is this a perfect scenario on Twitter? No. But I can only go by the majority of what we heard and I think we are making the right decision. We could get beat on some stories but I'd rather get beat on a couple of draft picks on Thursday night then anger the majority of the fan base."
When Markman refers to getting "beat" on stories, he's referring to outlets other than ESPN and the NFL Network tweeting pick-by-pick selections prior to Goodell's pick announcement. CBS Sports' Jason La Confora noted that there are no "official rules" when it comes to broadcasting the NFL Draft, especially since he doesn't work for neither ESPN nor the NFL Network.
"It's definitely cool to just report and get info out and, sure, there is a different degree of freedom in that," LaCanfora said. "But my hunch is once the draft actually gets going, there will end up being several different standards and no universal understanding of exactly what the "rules" are for those broadcasting the event."
Only time will tell if other networks beat Goodell to the punch via Twitter, but for now, it appears that ESPN and the NFL Network are trying to restore drama to the actual broadcast itself.