Peyton and Eli Manning could take big chunk out of primary Monday Night Football audience

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ESPN finally landed sports media’s white whale. And that could put a harpoon into the viewership numbers for the primary Monday Night Football broadcast.

With Peyton and Eli Manning handling a MegaCast 10 times per year over the next three seasons, plenty of folks will choose to listen to a couple of naturally funny Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks over the main broadcast. All due respect to the folks who handle the main broadcast, but who wouldn’t want to listen to Peyton and Eli as they watch a game and tell us what’s happening? That’s the option I’ll always choose, whenever it’s available.

The broader question becomes whether the Peyton and Eli show lays the foundation for a new primary MNF booth featuring both of them plus a play-by-play announcer. Hell, maybe their big brother Cooper can become the play-by-play guy.

If the goal is to make memorable and magical TV, a booth full of Mannings would make Monday Night Football must-see TV all over again, even when the game stinks.

For that reason, the folks in Bristol who work the primary broadcast surely aren’t thrilled about Peyton and Eli infringing on their turf. Yes, they’ll say all the right things in the name of being good teammates. But more people will be watching ESPN2 — and fewer will be watching ESPN — whenever Peyton and Eli are on. That’s a simple fact, made obvious by the fact that ESPN is doing it.

23 responses to “Peyton and Eli Manning could take big chunk out of primary Monday Night Football audience

  1. If the Manning Bros do this right and just have it be a casual and fun conversation with “inside football” insight and funny stories surrounding players/coaches, etc., it’ll be awesome. Talk a little light-hearted trash, goof around, have fun.

    If this is the buttoned-up Manning Bros who are worried about keeping things air tight so as not to offend the league/ESPN/sponsors, it’ll be transparent and lame.

  2. Could? The Peyton shows will be appointment viewing. Not sure I have much interest in hearing the other one mumble through a 3 hour telecast.

  3. If ESPN and ESPN 2 are owned by the same company, then isn’t this to total win for the broadcaster? I mean, they will get ALL the ratings. That’s not a competition, that’s damn good business! I see no problems here for the bottom line.

  4. I don’t agree. I have very little interest in watching football if Peyton and Eli are the only ones providing commentary. It’ll get old really quickly.

  5. Curious, did the boys consult with Daddy Manning first before arriving at their decision? ESPN has been in a free fall for years and surely this wouldn’t be the correct business move, right Archie, Eli?

  6. I watch football for the football game. Monday Night Football is a special gift. It’s the only game. It’s must see TV. If you think you have an analyst that can add something, put them on a Sunday game when the networks are competing for viewers. Why waste them on a game when no competing games are being played? The game is the show, not the announcers.

  7. If Peyton & Eli are a hit doing their own thing, then it would be foolish of ESPN to crowbar them into the standard format on the regular broadcast. But then, it’s not unusual for networks to take something successful and pimp it into the ground.

  8. If it’s the same Manning’s I’ve seen on SNL then I’m all in for this

  9. All for this if it means a diminished air time role for Booger McFarland. Otherwise doesn’t move the needle much for me personally.

  10. I have zero interest in watching Peyton Manning do anything or in listening to him talk about anything.

  11. I’d trade Eli for Cooper in a minute.

    Is anyone sure Eli can actually talk for three hours at a time ? Every time I’ve ever heard him speak, he seems to run out of gas after a few minutes. And Cooper is funny.

  12. The Mannings are probably pretty decent guys but good lord have I had enough of seeing them on television. The NFL and their sponsors act as if they are the only people to have ever played in this league.

  13. Anything that would make watching Monday Night Football worth watching I’m all in. I actually watch the games with the radio on. Started doing that during the Gruden era when I couldn’t understand what the heck he was trying to say.

  14. For those of you who really haven’t seen a lot of Eli – personality wise, check out his twitter account. He’s actually a pretty funny guy, and these broadcasts will be must see tv.

  15. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Peyton and Eli as they watch a game and tell us what’s happening? You’re kidding, right? I would avoid it like the plague. Have you actually watched the Capital One College Bowl? It’s a complete desecration of what is supposed to be about academic achievement. Ham-handed hosting by Peyton and brutally unfunny commentary by Cooper. They’ve turned it into Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and–spoiler alert–the answer isn’t the Manning brothers. No doubt they would be more competent at football, but there is no way I’m going to watch or listen to these doofuses.

  16. They would be way better than the three clowns they have now…most people watch mnf now with the sound muted…and have for years…

  17. This is what I’ll be watching on Monday nights. You don’t need a play-by-play guy for TV, it is the most useless position in all broadcasting.

  18. Other than as a novelty act, I legitimately can’t understand why anyone would want to watch this. Can the Mannings’ down-home folksy nonsense really go more than about 10 minutes before it becomes unbearable?

  19. >If it’s the same Manning’s I’ve seen on SNL then I’m all in for this

    It won’t be. Whatever you think of SNL, those are some of the best comedy writers out there currently, and they wrote Peyton and Eli’s words for SNL. When it’s just them, countless interviews over the last 20 years have shown what you’ll get, and it’s far from interesting

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