NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL is making its already popular draft even more television-friendly, moving the first round to Thursday night.
Next year's draft will switch from a two-day, weekend format to a three-day event with the opening round in prime time for the first time.
The NFL said Thursday that the first round will begin at 7:30 p.m. EDT on April 22. The second and third rounds will open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and the last four rounds will start Saturday morning.
The draft will continue to be televised by ESPN and NFL Network and held at Radio City Music Hall. It was a Saturday-Sunday event from 1995-2009.
Thursday is typically the most-watched night of television. A total of 39 million viewers watched the draft this year.
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