An alternate Monday Night Football becomes an instant hit on what was once a dull evening. Any public consensus is a marvel in 2021. Polarized America can barely bring itself to agree on the day of the week. But the Mannings? America in lockstep loves the Mannings, and their newly-coined “Manningcast,” and the numbers bear it out, with ratings rising each week.
After years of trying to secure top sports celebrities to boost its flagship Monday Night Football coverage, the Disney-backed sports outlet said it has enlisted both Peyton and Eli Manning to co-anchor a second broadcast of its signature show, starting this fall. The famous football brothers will lead the new broadcast on ESPN2, and the sports-media giant said it may also place their show on its streaming-video ESPN Plus. The pair will start their duties in the fall of 2021 and continue through the 2023 season, handling a total of 30 games over three seasons.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged 1,836,000 viewers for 16 broadcasts in Major League Baseball’s expanded wild-card round, drawing far more viewers for 16 games but an average down vastly from the single-knockout contests in previous years.
The American Cornhole League (ACL) announced Cornhole Mania 2020 will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2 on Saturday, May 9. The event will be held in Rock Hill, S.C., at the Rock Hill Sports and Events Center. The doubles competition is slated for noon to 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, with singles in primetime on ESPN2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Advertisers have been slow to the table to support the newly-revived XFL league, which kicks off this weekend. Interest is finally stirring, according to ESPN and ABC, but uncertain audience engagement and the memory of past alternative pro-football league failures cast a shadow over its prospects.
“The XFL has a good chance to become a small, viable opportunity for clients based on its WWE ownership backing,” says Adam Schwartz of Horizon Media. “I don’t think the XFL will ever become the NFL, but if the product is strong, it will get viewers to watch and, perhaps, to gamble on the games [and] that will draw more viewer interest.”
The former MSNBC host will lead a New York-based latenight show on ESPN2.