Now that his 2021 duties with ESPN have ended, Peyton Manning has been popping up on the Peacock network. Following a superb appearance on Saturday Night Live (it’s worth your time to watch it), Manning appeared Monday on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Via Sports Business Daily, Manning talked among other things about the Manningcast, the Monday night alternative to the main ESPN feed.
“We were real happy that ESPN kind of wanted to do something different,” Peyton said. “Eli and I thought they were joking, like, ‘Wait a minute, you’re going to pay us to watch football with my brother from our house? . . . This sounds like a lot of fun and a pretty good deal.’ We get to be home on the weekends with our kids and coach their sports and still stay close to the game of football, talking about it in a fun way. We had some great guests on this year, all people that love football.”
The Manningcast was well received by social media and actual media, but the numbers weren’t spectacular. The vast majority of Monday night viewers opted for the main broadcast. The Manningcast, frankly, too often distracted from the game.
That’s possibly why the Mannings didn’t see a jump in viewership for the ESPN playoff game between the Cardinals and Rams. Of the total viewers, 93.9 percent tuned in for the main broadcast on ESPN and ABC. Only 6.1 percent watched the Manningcast.
They’re under contract for two more years with ESPN. Amazon reportedly is interested in snatching the Mannings for Thursday Night Football. Still, the Mannings seem to relish the chance to work games without working games. Whatever they do, it surely would take a lot more money than whatever they’re currently getting to get them to climb into a broadcast booth.