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.