While mileage varies amongst NFL viewers when it comes to whether or not they still appreciate watching the ManningCast during Monday Night Football, there’s no denying that Peyton and Eli’s alternative broadcast has become something of an institution in the relatively short time it’s existed.
While it’s no rating juggernaut, the ManningCast manages to attract some very pretty high-wattage guests, including former President Barack Obama, The Rock, David Letterman, and Roger Goodell, to name a few. And while Eli and Peyton have tried to downplay their impact on the media world, they’ve also inspired a ton of knock-offs (and an SNL sketch), most of which fail to capture what makes the ManningCast work.
Given the success of the broadcast and the fact that ESPN has already re-upped the Mannings through 2024, it stands to reason that we could see the ManningCast expand from its current schedule of nine regular season games and one Wild Card Weekend game into a full-season situation.
According to Peyton, however, there’s no interest from their side in doing the broadcast every week.
“We thought 10 was a good number. We kind of run out of things to talk about after 10, Peyton said during a Q&A with USA Today. “Plus, I think it keeps our guests kind of fresh. Thirty guests that really love football, come from different professions and different backgrounds just kind of makes it more fresh. But ESPN, certainly, says there are certain games that are important to them, but then Eli and I had the ability where, if a date didn’t work because of a family commitment or whatnot, maybe we go to the next week.”
Peyton also discussed how he and Eli find a way to stay focused during the broadcast when they’re trying to balance watching the game with interviewing their guest and weaving in other production elements.
“It’s a little chaotic,” Manning said. “I think at first, Eli and I were kind of like maybe worried about the delay, we kept talking over each other. We had some hot mic moments. Eli shot the double-bird last year. I think we kind of came to find out that’s what makes the show a little different. That you’re going to have that, and it’s not going to be so buttoned-up. The football game is still the priority. But maybe those slow times in the game, a 2nd-and-1 running play from your own 20-yard line, maybe not that interesting to break that down. So let’s talk to Snoop Dogg about his youth football experience and his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers. So we feel like we kind of know when to bring the guest in.”
After a short hiatus for much of November, the ManningCast will be back on December 7 for the MNF game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.