The Manningcast has drawn rave reviews and social-media buzz. The eyeballs have not yet followed.
ESPN2’s Peyton and Eli show had a surprisingly small audience for its season finale on Monday night, during the wild-card playoff game between the Cardinals and Rams. Only 1.419 million viewers dialed up the alternative broadcast, one of the lowest total audience numbers during the first season of the alternate telecast.
With more than 23.1 million total viewers taking in the high-stakes postseason contest on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2, the Manningcast accounted for a paltry 6.1 percent of the total audience.
As previously mentioned, at some point the bean counters at Disney need to ask whether the financial investment is justified by the performance. Unless the Manningcast is actually resulting in more people watching the games, the alternate telecast creates presumably significant expenses (the Mannings surely don’t do anything for peanuts, nor should they) and limited additional revenue.
They’re under contract for two more years. Amazon reportedly would like to pilfer Peyton and Eli for Thursday Night Football. At some point, ESPN quite possibly will say, “Feel free.”