NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks from his home in Bronxville, New York. Photo: Getty Images

The National Football League's first-ever virtual draft shattered viewership records on Thursday night, with roughly 15.6 million people tuning in across digital platforms, ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes, per the NFL

Why it matters: It's no surprise the event drew vast interest, given that there haven't been many other professional sporting events for fans to follow during the coronavirus crisis.

By the numbers: The first round of the draft saw ratings up roughly 37%, with 11.4 million viewers.

  • The previous ratings record dated back to 2014, when the first night of the draft drew 12.4 million viewers.

Be smart: The NFL draft also offered sports fans a different experience this year than in years past.

  • Because of stay-at-home orders, followers got a rare glimpse into the homes of the players, team executives and even the NFL commissioner.
  • As Axios' Sports Editor Kendall Baker notes, the virtual event went pretty smoothly, which likely kept viewers interested.

The big picture: It's the second major ratings win for Disney's ESPN. Last Sunday, ESPN's "The Last Dance" documentary on the Chicago Bulls’ 1998 NBA championship run averaged a record-breaking 6.1 million viewers.

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David Muir is the most-watched man in summer TV

David Muir. Photo: ABC News

A quirk of the shutdown era, going back to March, has been the resurgence of evening news shows.

The intrigue: With no Olympics, and "60 Minutes" and other shows in summer reruns, ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir" — for weeks — has been the most watched show on all of television.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta pummels Alabama after Louisiana landfall

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China