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.
Each Monday Night Football broadcast this season takes place as the NFL and the TV networks that air its games are holding critical negotiations about rights contracts that, if they aren’t renewed, could determine nothing less than the fate of traditional TV itself. To be sure, networks make tweaks and improvements to regular programs all the time, but this season, any changes to gridiron TV take place under a new and intense spotlight.
The original corporate home of Monday Night Football is poised to return to the NFL business in a very big way. The Walt Disney Co.’s ABC broadcast network is in an increasingly strong position to score its first live NFL game package in 15 years, sources say. ABC broadcast MNF from 1970 to 2005, blazing the NFL’s path into primetime TV. But sister Disney cable network ESPN took over MNF in 2006, absorbing ABC Sports in the process.
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will return to a two-man booth when it kicks off its 50th season later this year. The network announced Wednesday that Joe Tessitore will be back doing play-by-play while Booger McFarland moves up to the booth after being a field-level analyst. ESPN also announced that Lisa Salters will return for an […]
It remains unclear whether Manning is interested in pursuing a career as an analyst at this time.
ABC will reportedly be among the networks submitting bids for Thursday Night Football television rights during the 2018 season. ABC could go up against CBS and NBC for the rights which, along with ESPN’s current Monday Night Football deal, would give parent company Disney a substantial stake in NFL distribution.
On Monday night, Beth Mowins will call the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers in the second game of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader — the first woman in 30 years take the microphone in an NFL game, and the first for a national broadcast.
Todd Juenger, senior media analyst for Bernstein Research, estimates the Walt Disney Co. spends $1.9 billion a year for this content. Dropping it from its schedule could increase operating income by 50% from its current level of $4 billion a year.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Sept. 26 debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is expected to reduce ratings for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Ad buyers are predicting about 10.3 million to 11 million viewers, which would be down 15% to 20% from last year’s average Monday Night Football rating. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.
Audience ratings for ESPN’s Monday Night Football are down 12% so far in a season that’s been dominated by criticism of the National Football League’s handling of domestic abuse allegations against players.
Some highly rated December games, including this week’s Atlanta-San Francisco matchup, has helped ESPN’s Monday Night Football finish its season with the franchise’s best numbers in three years.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers averaged 15.77 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, a season high and up from 10.96 million for last week’s contest between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the most-watched show of the night on broadcast or cable, topping ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, the night’s No. 2 show with 13.8 million. MNF also finished as the night’s top show in 18-49s, drawing a 5.8 rating, nearly two points better than the 3.9 last week’s contest averaged.
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Hank Williams Jr. will no longer sing the words “Are you ready for some football?” on Monday nights on ESPN. Each side claimed Thursday it had decided to part ways after Williams’ tune opened “Monday Night Football” for more than two decades. The network had pulled the intro for this week’s […]
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr.’s classic intro song from its broadcast of Monday night’s NFL game after the country singer famous for the line “Are you ready for some football?” used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama. In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & […]
ESPN is answering critics who publicly accused the media company of wild, indiscriminate spending with its eight-year, $15.2 billion deal to extend its rights to Monday Night Football.
The National Football League and ESPN have agreed to a deal that will keep Monday Night Football on the cable sports network through 2021, extending the current contract by eight years, the two sides said on Thursday.
Don Meredith, NFL star and an original member of ABC’s Monday Night Football broadcast team died Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M., after suffering a brain hemorrhage.