ESPN Adding Peyton and Eli Manning to “Monday Night Football” MegaCast
The alternate "MNF" telecast will air for 10 weeks over the next three seasons on ESPN2
After years of trying, ESPN has hooked “the NFL’s white whale” for Monday Night Football — and baited his baby brother into coming along for the ride.
As part of a larger partnership with Peyton Manning’s media company Omaha Productions, the two-time Super Bowl winner will be hosting an alternate Monday Night Football telecast with his little brother Eli, who has two Super Bowls of his own, through the 2023 season, the brothers and ESPN announced on Monday.
“This partnership with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company reflects an ongoing, shared commitment to offering fans fun, innovative content,” the elder Manning said.
Appearing on ESPN2 to start, the MNF “MegaCast” production will air during 10 weeks of the next three seasons for a total of 30 games over three seasons. The new broadcast will debut during the first three weeks of the 2021 season (Baltimore at Las Vegas, Detroit at Green Bay and Philadelphia at Dallas) with the seven other games set to be announced at a later date.
Meant to complement the traditional MNF broadcast that will still air on ESPN and/or ABC each week, the new viewing option will originate from a remote location and treat fans “to a mix of in-the-moment analysis, big picture NFL dialogue, knee-jerk reaction, historical perspective, and more.”
While the night’s game will always be visible via an on-screen viewing box, fans will also be able to watch the Mannings as they are joined by a to-be-determined host, athletes and celebrities.
“Offering multiple Monday Night Football viewing options for the next three seasons continues our innovation efforts and provides additional value for our fans,” said ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro. “Peyton and Eli will bring a different approach, delving into conversation about broader, big-picture topics while also honing in on the game, much like fans do when watching with their family and friends.”
Football fans who don’t watch to spend their Monday evenings with the Mannings can still watch Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry, all of whom will be back after debuting last season, on the regular MNF broadcast.
“Steve, Brian, Louis, Lisa and John are poised for a great season, building upon the strong foundation they formed in a very successful first year despite the challenges brought about due to the pandemic,” said Pitaro. “This new MegaCast option is designed to be a great complement to our traditional telecast.”
Or a competitor to a product ESPN is clearly worried about and has been trying to fix for years.
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