Peyton Manning Oct 31, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning waves to fans after being inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame during halftime against the Washington Football Team at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Manningcast has undeniably changed the world of sports media.

Alternate broadcasts (including ESPN’s own Megacast productions) had been tried, but Peyton, Eli, and the Omaha Productions team perfected the format, offering an appealing mix of in-depth analysis, fun banter, and star power from both hosts and guests.

Their success (and that of various other Omaha projects) has led to a sharp bit of growth, with news this week of a Peter Chernin-led investment valuing the company at $400 million.

That meant it’s a good week for business-focused outlets like Bloomberg to offer pieces like this one from Lucas Shaw on the history and future outlook of the nascent Omaha.

The whole thing is worth reading, and as it’s behind a paywall we won’t be running big excerpts here. But one thing absolutely stood out: Peyton’s criteria for a guest making an appearance.

The tone is optimistic. Manning will critique a quarterback for a bad throw, but he’s more likely to praise the defensive back for the interception. “The criteria for being a guest is you gotta love football,” Manning says. “You can’t come on to promote your tequila.”

That sounds impossibly simple, and on some levels it is. But it’s also an important rule; the Manningcast doesn’t truly break from the action for guests. It’s not a pure talk show in that way; the game remains a focal point, even if a guest usually leads to various anecdotes and interplay.

If guests started popping up who didn’t care about the game at all, the whole formula would be off. This rule isn’t likely to be broken any time soon; elsewhere in his piece, Shaw notes that Manning books guests himself.

Understanding what makes a product work well is a key element of any business. It seems like the Manningcast has a pretty solid handle on that.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.