ESPN’s ManningCast ratings rise but total audience percentage has declined
If you’re on Twitter during ESPNs Monday night football, it may seem like everyone is watching ManningCast. But while the special featuring Peyton and Eli Manning is certainly holding its audience and making the headlines, it remains a novelty compared to the general audience watching the big NFL game of the night.
ManningCast won a 1.89 million audience Monday for the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, up slightly from the 1.86 million who watched the Week 2 alternative broadcast of the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers game. That’s a much slower payoff than the Week 1 jump, which saw 800,000 people tune in to watch the Manning Brothers, but it remains a strong indicator that there is interest in any hijackings that could come up. performing that night on ESPN2 and ESPN +.
However, perhaps the most interesting number to consider is the total audience percentage when comparing ManningCast to the main one. FMN aired on ESPN. While the first week’s broadcast saw only 5.2% of the overall audience, that number rose to 13.4% of the total audience in week 2. While the initial numbers differed , ESPN’s official announcement for week 3 grades put the total FMN viewership to 14.9 million, giving ManningCast a total audience percentage of 12.68, which is a slight drop.
It’s probably not something to read too much right now. Greater interest in the Cowboys-Eagles game the week before could have simply attracted a larger audience in general, and ultimately had nothing to do with a decision to choose between the two broadcast options. But it’s still a good reminder that while ManningCast may seem like the biggest show in town on Twitter, it’s still a niche live experience for now.
The experience will now take a few weeks before returning in Week 7 when the New Orleans Saints face the Seattle Seahawks. The absence of a ManningCast by then should give ESPN a good idea of how important this alternative is as they try to keep this audience from falling altogether. Mannings or not, ESPN is in good shape given that MNF averages 14.7 million total viewers, up 17% from 2020 and 23% from 2019 so far.