Peyton Manning reading a "Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Third Host Auditions" binder. Peyton Manning reading a “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Third Host Auditions” binder. (Omaha Productions on Twitter.)

Before the ManningCast (technically, ESPN still calls it Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli) alternate broadcast began in 2021, there was a lot of talk of a third host beyond Peyton and Eli Manning. That was ESPN’s original plan, with figures like Adam Schefter mentioned, and a variety of prominent sports media personalities actually auditioned for the role, including NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt. But Brandt himself said then “The hype is real, they don’t need a host. They don’t need a third person.” An Instagram post from Peyton Monday suggested that may have changed, though:


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A post shared by Peyton Manning (@peytonmanning)

Of course, this might not involve a third host at all, or it might not involve a third host as originally conceived. It’s possible that binder is from those initial auditions before the show launched, and Manning’s reading it for material because they’re going to have one of those figures on as a guest. This could also be something like bringing in Peyton and Eli’s older brother Cooper (who, beyond his investment firm work as principal and senior managing director of investor relations for AJ Capital Partners, has done the The Manning Hour segments for Fox and co-hosts NBC’s Capital One College Bowl game show with Peyton). It’s also possible that there’s some other kind of unanticipated swerve here; it’s tough to tell much from just this post, and the Mannings have been known for plenty of jokes. But there does look to be at least a possibility the ManningCast’s regular cast may expand.

Would a third host actually boost the ManningCast? Brandt didn’t think it was necessary, and neither did ESPN in the end. And the current formula, featuring the Manning brothers and a number of notable guests each week, certainly worked pretty well in 2021 and 2022. And Eli said in April that “We’ve stayed pretty true to what the original plan was,” and didn’t seem to show much appetite for significant change at that time. But a lot can change in four months, and ESPN has not announced details of this year’s ManningCast yet. So there’s at least a possibility this is what it looks like, and that would be a notable change indeed. As Omaha Productions (Peyton’s production company, which produces the ManningCast and many other shows) tweeted, eyeballs emoji indeed.

[Omaha Productions on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.