The ManningCast (or, if you’re ESPN, Monday Night Football With Peyton and Eli) has been very successful indeed for an alternate broadcast, although still well below the numbers drawn for the main game feed. There have already been discussions that it might not continue if Peyton Manning does wind up in a Denver Broncos’ ownership bid, but barring that, it looks like we’ll see this for several years to come, and not just on the NFL. As Brian Steinberg wrote at Variety, ESPN parent company Disney revealed on an earnings call Wednesday that Peyton and Eli Manning have now signed on for an extra year of MNF ManningCasts, plus ManningCasts for other sports with other hosts:
Peyton and Eli Manning have more yards to gain for Walt Disney Co. and ESPN.
The two football brothers, whose “ManningCast” alongside ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” has gained significant notice this season, have extended their relationship with the sports-media giant. Under a new deal, the brothers will add a fourth year of their “Monday Night Football With Peyton and Eli,” so that it extends through the NFL’s 2024 season. The agreement, struck with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, also calls for the creation of similar programs alongside UFC matches, college football and golf, using other hosts and produced by Omaha in collaboration with ESPN.
“I’ve always loved talking football with my brother, and it was even more fun to do it while watching ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football.,” said Peyton Manning. “Eli and I are excited to sign on for another season, and the entire Omaha team is looking forward to producing MegaCasts that celebrate other sports.”
It’s sort of fascinating that this idea is something that ESPN would pay Peyton and Eli Manning for in other sports. The Mannings did not invent the idea of the alternate broadcast, which we’ve seen in countless forms at ESPN in particular (but also at some other channels) over the past decade. And there’s no apparent need to pay Peyton’s company for this “idea,” as it did not originate with him.
But there is an argument for doing it this way. For one, that maybe dials down the outright dollar figure given to the Mannings for what Peyton and Eli are actually contributing to (the MNF broadcasts), instead diverting some of it to “production fees” for these other sports. And for two, it means that they’ll have a production team already experienced with these kinds of broadcasts stepping in to do it for other sports (even if those broadcasts will not include the Mannings, who were quite arguably the reason why this particular alternate broadcast took off beyond previous ones).
At any rate, this is notable for extending the Mannings’ contract with ESPN for another year. And that’s certainly interesting, considering that there’s already been talk about the likes of Amazon perhaps poaching them. And offering them some more money to “produce” alternate feeds (again, a thing that already existed) for other ESPN broadcasts might help keep them with ESPN. So it’s certainly notable that the main Monday Night Football ManningCast will now run through 2024, and that their production company will now be doing similar alternate feeds for ESPN broadcasts of other sports.