ESPN’s Manningcast Ratings Rise Again Alongside Primary Broadcast

by Chris Haney

Monday Night Football‘s alternate “Manningcast” broadcast continued last night with another strong performance behind brothers Peyton and Eli Manning‘s new gig.

The two brothers hail from one of the most famous NFL families to ever step on the gridiron. Their father, Archie Manning, was a quarterback in the league for 13 seasons in the ’70s and ’80s, primarily with the New Orleans Saints.

His sons each went on to have even more successful professional football careers than their dad. Peyton is a two-time Super Bowl champion who just got inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in August. Additionally, Eli won two Super Bowls of his own and has a strong case for a Hall induction as well when he’s eligible.

The two famous siblings each have a penchant for comedic timing, whether that be in commercials or hosting Saturday Night Live. Now, Peyton and Eli are working together for MNF‘s alternate program – the “Manningcast.”

Viewers have the option now to watch MNF along with Eli and Peyton Manning on ESPN2 during the broadcast. The pair have obvious chemistry as brothers and each bring lighthearted and amusing coverage to the primetime games. They also welcome famous guests like LeBron James, Charles Barkley, and Nick Saban to the show. So far, during the first two weeks of airing, the show has been an overwhelming success. 

Manningcast Ratings Breakdown Compared to Last Week’s Broadcast

According to a Hollywood Reporter article, last night’s “Manningcast” show had a slight increase to its viewership. 1.86 million viewers watched last week’s alternate broadcast, and this week 1.89 million people tuned in.

For a brand new show technically competing against the juggernaut that is MNF on the same network, those are extremely solid numbers. Per usual, MNF crushed all other Monday programs as it once again led all primetime viewing last night. The main ESPN broadcast averaged nearly 12.9 million fans watching the game. Combined with ESPN2’s “Manningcast,” the network pulled in 14.76 million viewers.

In addition, the main ESPN program gained an extra one million viewers compared to last week’s broadcast. Further, the Manning brothers garnered 13.4% of the total MNF audience last week. That number increased to 14.6% of the total audience during last night’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Peyton and Eli Manning Discuss LeBron James Potential NFL Career Move in 2011

As mentioned, Peyton and Eli bring in special guests for their MNF “Manningcast” show. Last night, they welcomed NBA superstar LeBron James, and discussed his previous football career.

James played wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio as a teenager. He earned all-state honors and had multiple D1 football programs interested before making the jump from high school directly to the NBA. During the 2011 NBA lockout negotiations, the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks both tried to recruit James.

“That’s true. Jerry Jones offered me a contract. Also, Pete Carroll did as well in Seattle during our lockout time. It definitely got my blood flowing again, got my mind racing again thinking about the game of football, you know, being out there Sundays,” James told Peyton and Eli. “…I definitely thought about it. I still got the jerseys too, that Jerry and Pete Carroll sent me.

Manningcast fans will have to do without the alternate broadcast for the next three weeks, unfortunately. But the Manning brothers will be back for MNF‘s Week 7 game between New Orleans and Seattle.