Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Peyton, Eli Manning to call 'Monday Night Football' on alternate ESPN broadcast

ESPN has finally landed Peyton Manning for its "Monday Night Football" broadcast. 

Kind of.

The network announced on Monday that Peyton and his brother Eli Manning will pair together to call what it describes as an "alternate" telecast of its flagship NFL program in addition to the primary "Monday Night Football" booth featuring Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese. It will air on ESPN2, and the pair will call 10 games of the 18-week schedule. 

The deal announced Monday is in place for the next three seasons. Terms of the deal have not been reported.

The Network didn't announce what games the Mannings will call. "Monday Night Football" kicks off on Sept. 13 with the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Las Vegas Raiders.

Per ESPN, the Mannings will work from a remote location and be joined by celebrities and former NFL players. It appears that the broadcast will be considerably more casual than traditional game coverage. 

ESPN, other networks have long courted Manning

Manning has been highly coveted as an NFL broadcaster since his retirement from the Denver Broncos in 2016. He's resisted calls to join broadcast booths, but has an existing relationship with ESPN, which airs his sports documentary program "Peyton's Places."

The deal was announced as speculation continues to swirl around Manning's potential interest in NFL ownership or a front-office role. With Broncos ownership in flux, Manning said last week that he hasn't ruled out a role with the Broncos or another team in the long-term, but is saying no for now. 

Manning played 17 NFL seasons for the Indianapolis Colts and Broncos, earning five MVP trophies and 14 Pro Bowl nods while winning two Super Bowls. Eli also won two Super Bowls while spending his entire career as quarterback for the New York Giants. 

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