ESPN pulled out all the stops to snag Peyton and Eli Manning for roles during the upcoming NFL season. It worked, and the two former NFL greats will play a big role in the network's coverage later this fall.
Peyton and Eli will run ESPN's Monday Night Football MegaCast this upcoming season. The coverage will air on ESPN2 while the regular Monday Night Football showing - led by a trio of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick - will stick on ESPN's main channel.
ESPN has since been looking for a host to join Peyton and Eli on the MegaCast. Several were in discussions to land the role, reportedly including the NFL insider himself, Mr. Adam Schefter. But the Worldwide Leader has since gone a different direction. No host will join Peyton and Eli this upcoming season.
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, ESPN is letting Peyton and Eli run the MegaCast on their own. That's probably the right decision. There's no need to throw a host into the mix and take away air-time from the Manning brothers.
"Peyton Manning and Eli Manning won’t have a permanent third person for their eagerly anticipated 'Monday Night Football' MegaCast, sources tell Front Office Sports," McCarthy wrote.
"ESPN initially intended to have a regular “host” between the Mannings, but over weeks of rehearsals and phone calls, Peyton Manning’s Omaha Production’s and ESPN concluded the best approach would be the Mannings themselves commenting on the games."
ESPN's Manning brothers option for Monday Night Football is bound to garner a massive audience. It could be one of the only times it outperforms the primary coverage.
Peyton and Eli will conduct their first MegaCast on Sept. 13 when the Raiders take on the Ravens.