Manningcast generates good buzz but low ratings

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Social media loved the Peyton and Eli Manning show on Monday night. As in many other instances, the rest of the world didn’t share the same enthusiasm.

Via John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, the ESPN2 rating for the Ravens-Raiders game as enhanced (or otherwise) by the Manning brothers generated a 0.6 rating, with a share of 1. In contrast, the primary feed, televised by ABC and ESPN, rang up a 6.5 and 4.5 rating, respectively, and shares of 14 and 10.

It’s a surprising outcome, one that surely makes Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick feel a little better after seeing the amount of praise heaped on the secondary broadcast that seemed certain to sabotage their overall number. Ultimately, it hardly took a dent out of the main audience.

The Manningcast may work better while watching the game alone than in a group. We had six people watching the game on the PFT patio; the natural conversation among those watching the game made the Manning discussion unnecessary and generally hard to follow. We turned it on four different times and almost immediately went back to the primary feed.

Meanwhile, some in the industry have grumbled about the willingness of Peyton Manning to undermine the primary crew in lieu of actually become a member of it. One person raised an interesting question: What would Manning say and do if he were the lead analyst on Monday Night Football and ESPN set up an alternate feed and hyped it relentlessly?

Maybe, once he saw the ratings, he wouldn’t care.

30 responses to “Manningcast generates good buzz but low ratings

  1. Initial ratings are an indication, but I would bet that as word got out of how much folks enjoyed it, their ratings will dramatically go up the next time, especially for folks watching at home and not in a sports bar or group setting.

  2. It was awesome. Way better than normal MNF broad cast. Maybe can do without the Zoom-type face Windows and guests, but the overall delivery was refreshing, informative, and entertaining.

  3. It was different. The Manning boys self depreciating humor was entertaining. Insightful commentary from players perspective is generally appreciated. It just seemed a little too jibber jabbery. It just doesn’t need to be a continual stream of consciousness.

  4. Most of the social media comments have been overwhelmingly positive, which is my opinion as well. I almost turned on the regular broadcast and forgot to watch the Manningcast. Agree that it probably works best for one viewer or a small group.

    With the positive buzz, I expect ratings for the Manningcast to vulture aware enough from the main broadcast that it starts to become an issue. It might also force some action on the mostly-low-info and lots of cliche-speak that we get on network broadcasts. That’s why Romo and Madden were such a breath of fresh air.

    I thought the Manningcast was highly entertaining and plan to watch it every week. Hope it has staying power.

  5. What a disaster for ESPN. Your on air “talent” had months to prepare but fumbled through most the game like they were chosen from season ticket holders.

  6. Gonna have to go with Florio on this one. I tuned into it a couple times and ended up going back to the main broadcast. I was really looking forward to the Mannings and a new way to watch a game. Maybe it will get better with time. It seemed like some production issues turned me off from the get go. I hope it gets better and will check it out next week.

  7. the announcers on MNF were horrible.
    the mannings come off a bit like dorks.
    put romo in there with someone like kanye west… at least it will be entertaining

  8. I enjoyed Payton and Eli very much. However, I watched the regular broadcast in real time and recorded the Manning show to view this morning. If you don’t mind seeing the same game twice it seems that is the way to go.

  9. Refreshing, informative, and entertaining.They just need a different format, as it was difficult to see and enjoy the game with the two bothers in windows and having a conversation about each play.They didn’t seem to be able to keep up with the pace of the game, and it seemed hurried because of that. I watched for a few and went to the normal broadcast.

  10. The Manning broadcast was unpolished and awesome,if you know something about football.
    If it is actually promoted, ratings will go up.
    Both had commentary not related directly to the game. Only the Manning and friends commentary was worth hearing in a football setting.
    If it succeeds, maybe other players will get a chance to share their football couch with us. So cool.

  11. Not surprised about low ratings, I didn’t even know it debuted last night…but I am definitely tuning into the next broadcast.

  12. i loved the show but turned it off after 10 minutes. i love both of them and they are super funny. The format is too much with the 4 box and the jokes. I think a lot of us want to watch the game instead of comedy routines.

  13. Peyton is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and still not as full of himself as Louis Riddick

  14. I forgot. I was wondering why MNF was on both ESPN and ESPN2 but didn’t think too much about it. I’ll catch it next week.

  15. Alternative simulcast is a great idea, and for a 1st run they did pretty good. It will most likely be improved on the production side and it will be interesting to see who else they bring in down the road. But let’s not ignore the fact that this move reeks of desperation from a network that has lost a ton of viewers over the last few years.
    Not gonna lie though… I caught myself watching Cornhole on ESPN recently, so maybe niche is the way for them to go moving forward.

  16. As long as you aren’t vested in the game (ie, fan of team playing or gambler), I can see the show being entertaining. I’m a Raider fan and I tried to watch but they didn’t focus on the game enough so I went back to Kevin Harlan; nobody calls a the game better IMO.

  17. I watched the MNF broadcast. Louis Reddick is much better then either of the Mannings. Too much about nothing going on with the Manning broadcast and it’s always been obvious that Peyton likes to listen to himself talk and his humor only hits a bit over the 55 percentile.
    There’s really no need for it.

  18. Russel Wilson was fantastic when they brought him on, and I am not anywhere near his biggest fan. He’s definitely got a career in broadcasting waiting for him if he wants to go that route. Travis Kelce was pretty funny too, but I doubt they bring him back. Dude doesn’t have a PG mouth.

  19. If I wanted to listen to a .500 winning pct. QB and his brother yak incessantly I’ll wait until Derek Carr retires and chops it up with his broey, David, a true media professional.

    In the meantime, I can do without GooberTV.

  20. I watched it and I thought it was fantastic. It was full of good humor and great X’s and O’s analysis. I learned more listening to them analyze plays than I usually do in a years worth of other broadcasts. They did a great job of explaining why a play worked or didn’t work. The only thing I would change is I would only have football guests and leave people like Charles Barkley out of it.

  21. I forgot about it until now and I would have watched it. I need to set up a reminder in order to break old habits.

  22. Looks like the 16 total people that watched the manningcast are all PFT commenters. Thanks to PFT’s unhealthy love affair with all things peyton, I knew exactly the broadcast time and channel. I was extremely careful to keep my fingers off the left-click button as I maneuvered the mouse pointer over the icon for the ABC broadcast, had my kids (they’re so much better at this tech stuff then their old man) verify that the pointer was NOT over the ESPN2 icon, then clicked to watch the regular broadcast crew. Under no circumstances did I want to accidentally click the manningpukefest! Then again, for Amazon games I listen to the Hannah Storm and Andria Kremer, they’re a little better than average but a million times better than Joe “I know everything” Buck and Troy “World’s Biggest Super-Duper-Homer” Aikman.

  23. Maybe, just maybe the rest of America outside of Indy, Denver, and NY have Manning fatigue from the constant commercials we were subjected to of Peyton shilling everything under the sun.

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