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Is ESPN's Manningcast worth it with unimpressive ratings?

  • This week's Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Manning, the first in nearly a month, attracted 1.48 million viewers, ranking No. 8 of the nine Manningcasts so far. That's 1.48 million out of the total 13.256 million viewership for this week's Monday Night Football game. The biggest Manningcast crowd tuned in for the Week Eight game between the Giants and the Chiefs, with 1.96 million. While Sports Business Journal named the Manningcast the best innovation of 2021, Mike Florio of NBC Sports-owned ProFootballTalk wonders if the millions poured in is worth it for ESPN. "The Monday night Manningcast audience accounted for only 11.1 percent of the total ESPN audience," says Florio. "This once again raises the question of whether it’s worth it, from a business standpoint, to plunk down whatever many millions are being devoted to the Peyton and Eli show. Are more total people tuning in to watch football on Monday nights because of the Manningcast, or are the Brothers Manning simply siphoning from the main broadcast, with no net gain? The media (and social media) love the Manningcast. I can’t watch it live, because I’d rather focus on the game. (I tape it and watch it the next day, and I like it.) The best outcome for Bristol would be to get Peyton and Eli in the booth every week, as the main analysts. But the Mannings don’t seem to be inclined to do that. They’d have to travel. They’d definitely want (and deserve) a lot more money. They’d possibly feel compelled to be more polished (even though the best move would be to keep doing what they do). And Peyton definitely wouldn’t tolerate an alternate broadcast that would potentially take viewers away from his production."

    TOPICS: Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, ESPN, ESPN2, Monday Night Football, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning