Sports | August 31, 2021 3:26 pm

Peyton and Eli Manning Will Host “Monday Night Football” MegaCast on ESPN By Themselves

The Mannings are confident enough in their on-screen presence that they're going to go it alone on "MNF"

Peyton Manning and Eli Manning attend a charity event. The brothers will host several ESPN football broadcasts without a traditional host.
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning attend a charity event.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Originally expected to be paired up with a host for their new Monday Night Football MegaCast on ESPN, the Manning brothers are prepping to go it alone.

Appearing on ESPN2 to start, Peyton and Eli Manning will host their first MegaCast production on the first Monday of the 2021 season when Baltimore takes on Las Vegas in the desert. The Mannings will also be on the air for the next two Mondays of the season (Detroit at Green Bay and Philadelphia at Dallas) before taking a break.

Though The Worldwide Leader initially planned to have a permanent host between the Mannings, it was determined over the course of weeks of rehearsals and phone calls that it would be better to let the brothers, both of whom have hosted Saturday Night Live and reportedly “shined” while prepping for the new MNF show, to handle things on their own, according to Front Office Sports. Had ESPN decided to use a host,  NFL insider Adam Schefter was a top candidate, per FOS.

“The Mannings are the stars of this show. As brothers they have a natural chemistry. It’s hard to just become a part of that family history,” a source told the publication. “It’s supposed to be free-wheeling and unstructured. It will be like you’re sitting at the bar watching the game with the Mannings.”

Set to air for seven additional weeks following the first three broadcasts of the season,  the so-called “Manning-Cast” will air during 10 weeks of the next three seasons for a total of 30 games over three years.

“Offering multiple Monday Night Football viewing options for the next three seasons continues our innovation efforts and provides additional value for our fans,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said when the broadcast was announced. “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.”

For those who don’t want to watch the Mannings, ESPN’s traditional Monday Night Football broadcast with Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, Brian Griese, Lisa Salters, and John Parry is still an option and will air as it usually does.

“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,” Pitaro said. “This new MegaCast option is designed to be a great complement to our traditional telecast.”