Manningcast ratings inch a bit higher

The Manningcast is working. And, in what is essentially a zero-sum ratings game, the primary ESPN Monday night broadcast is losing ground.

Last week, an audience of 1.86 million watched the Peyton and Eli show on ESPN2. Last night, that number increased slightly to 1.89 million. However, the total audience of 13.808 million from last week fell to 12.901 million.

Thus, the Mannings had 13.4 percent of the total audience last week. This week, that percentage climbed to 14.6 percent.

For the next three weeks, it will be zero percent; the Mannings are off. Many who have made that Manningcast a weekly habit won’t know that before next Monday night, and they’ll be upset when they tune in and the Mannings aren’t there. (They may even fire a double-barreled bird at the screen.)

They’ll be back for Week Seven, when their dad’s Saints travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.

UPDATE 7:57 p.m. ET: ESPN’s release pegs the total audience at 14.9 million. That puts the percentage of the total audience at 12.68 percent — a drop from Week Two.