One of the undisputed highlights of the first three weeks of the 2021 NFL season has been ESPN’s alternate Monday Night Football broadcast with Peyton and Eli Manning. The two quarterback-brothers have created a viewing experience chock-full of football knowledge, informative guest interviews and just overall entertainment.
The Manning broadcast has received glowing reviews on social media through the first three weeks of Monday Night Football. The latest television ratings backed up what many have been saying about the ESPN product.
The Week 3 Manning Megacast for Monday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys drew 1.89 million viewers, according to Richard Deitsch. That marks the second consecutive week that the alternate broadcast has recorded over 1.8 million viewers, signaling that the Manning brothers might’ve found their stride with their new venture.
For the third week in a row, the alternate option ran concurrently to ESPN’s traditional call of Monday Night Football. The Manning-led product made up for approximately 12.8 percent of the network’s total viewership across both broadcasts.
The Manning Megacast draws 1.89 million viewers for Cowboys-Eagles. https://t.co/1IRsmyrMLs
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 28, 2021
Manning-cast settling in at a *very* nice level. Hope a few weeks off aren't a set back.
Mannings week 1: 800K (5% of total)
Mannings week 2 1.856M (13.5%)
Mannings week 3: 1.890M ( 12.8%)
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) September 28, 2021
Given the quality of Eli and Peyton’s broadcast, it’s unsurprising to see the ratings stabilize after an underwhelming first week. The dynamic between the two brothers makes for entertaining television and many of the guests that come on the air seem comfortable in their appearances. This past Monday night, Matthew Stafford, Lebron James, Nick Saban and Chris Long all joined the Mannings and told never-before-heard stories that viewers enjoyed hearing.
Peyton and Eli have reportedly signed up for ten total Monday Night Football broadcasts this season, which means that only seven remain. Sports media insider Andrew Marchand reported Tuesday that ESPN will likely have the brothers do six more regular season games, including one on the Saturday of the final regular season week, before the Monday Wild Card game that’s new to 2021.
Time will tell if the Manning broadcast can maintain the success that it’s had in the first few weeks, but if Peyton and Eli continue to deliver each and every game, ESPN shouldn’t have a problem.