Thursday draft coverage sets mark

4/27/2010 - NFL

NEW YORK -- Football season is months away, but television viewers can't seem to wait.

The Nielsen Co. says ESPN's coverage of the NFL draft's first round drew a record audience of 7.3 million people last Thursday. It was so popular that it appeared to carve into the audience for some of broadcast TV's biggest shows.

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" had the third-smallest audience in the show's history. NBC's "The Office" saw its smallest audience since moving to Thursdays in 2006.

Despite sagging numbers for "American Idol," Fox was the most popular network in prime time last week.