ESPN2's "Manning Cast" broadcast has been a massive success, proving alternative coverage of marquee live sporting events can work...when you have the right people.
Peyton and Eli Manning are those people, leading ESPN's alternative broadcast of Monday Night Football with a mix of humor, insight, and big-name guests to much fanfare this year. But according to the latest from around the NFL, the "Manning Cast" could end up being a one-hit-wonder.
According to CBS NFL insider Jason La Canfora, Peyton Manning is "very interested" in an ownership stake in the Denver Broncos and could also have a role in management if he is part of the ownership team. If that comes to fruition, Manning would certainly not be in broadcasting anymore.
Here's more from the report.
"Sources said former Broncos star quarterback Peyton Manning, who is very interested in a potential ownership piece in the franchise and a possible role in serving in a management position as well, has already had discussions with several of the groups expected to be favorites to land the team, and his strong ties to Denver, where his family has lived since his playing days, and universal respect throughout the football world, would be a boon to any potential ownership group aligned with him."
Following the death of former Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, his heirs have been embroiled in a legal dispute over the next steps for the franchise. The expectation, however, is the franchise will be sold in early 2022.
Any ownership group looking to buy the Broncos would be in a much better position if they can get Manning involved. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015, won NFL MVP in 2013 with them and brought that franchise back to glory. He was just added to their Ring of Fame and is, as La Canfora mentioned, beloved in the community and revered around the NFL.
Quite frankly, the Broncos could use him to help stabilize a franchise that has struggled since he left, so much so longtime President and fellow Broncos legend John Elway took a step back in his role with the franchise this past offseason.
Of course, this is all based on the long shot of Manning becoming a part-owner of the Broncos. But broadcast never seemed like Manning's top pursuit. More of a hobby to keep himself in the public eye. He's succeeded at an extremely high level. ESPN has put him in a great position to do so. But he's always been a football guy, and being inside the building is the only way to itch that scratch.
There's also no guarantee ESPN would continue the "Manning Cast" beyond this year anyway, though it seems silly to imagine a world where they wouldn't. But at this point, it also seems silly to think Manning will keep doing this broadcast indefinitely. Better for viewers enjoy it for now.
The Manning's final two broadcasts this year are Steelers-Browns in Week 17 and for ESPN's Wild Card broadcast. Will those be the last two ever? If Manning becomes part-owner of the Broncos yes. But we'll just have to see how things pan out before knowing the fate of America's favorite alternative NFL broadcast.