The TV ratings first year of ESPN’s Manningcast has been released, per Sports Business Journal. The alternate Monday Night Football broadcast hosted by Peyton and Eli Manning generated an average of 1.58 million viewers per game.
The most-watched broadcast occurred during a Week 8 game between the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs, with 1.96 million. There is one more scheduled broadcast this season for a Wild Card playoff game on Jan. 17.
The two brothers offer a more conversational take on the typical sports broadcast, cracking jokes and not necessarily focusing on a play-by-play of the game. Instead, they host a new guest each quarter, melding talk show with game analysis.
Thanks to their many connections, the Mannings have been able to attract a star-studded cast of guests to the show to keep viewers watching. That includes LeBron James, Tom Brady, Condoleezza Rice, David Letterman and many more.
The Mannings and their company Omaha Productions signed a three-year deal with ESPN at the beginning of the season. Given the success of their program, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see ESPN attempt to re-negotiate for a longer amount of time.
Renewal talks are expected to begin as soon as this year, with companies such as Amazon already expressing interest in inking a similar deal with the Mannings. However, should the Manningcast move to another network, it likely wouldn’t happen until at least 2023.
Peyton Manning has also expressed interest in becoming a part-owner of the Denver Broncos, with which he won a Super Bowl in 2015. If that were to happen it could create a potential conflict for him to call games while linked to a league franchise.
However, that is still a long way from happening. Given the TV ratings from the first season, it’s clear the Manningcast is here to stay as long as it is possible.