Report: Amazon hoping to lure Peyton and Eli Manning away from ESPN
Peyton and Eli Manning have been hugely successful in their first season hosting an alternate “Monday Night Football” telecast, so it comes as no surprise that other companies are already trying to formulate a plan to pry the two former NFL stars away from ESPN.
Amazon is eyeing the Manning brothers for its “Thursday Night Football” package, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. Peyton’s production company, Omaha Productions, has a contract with ESPN that runs through 2023. There will be 10 “ManningCast” episodes per season.
ESPN and Omaha Productions are expected to explore contract extension talks at some point next year. One source told McCarthy that Amazon would be prepared to offer “a ton of moey” plus Amazon Prime content deals for Peyton and Eli, but it is unclear if they would have any interest in leaving ESPN.
The “ManningCast” on ESPN2 been incredibly popular this season. Peyton and Eli have averaged 1.6 million viewers and generated the seven most-watched alternate telecasts in ESPN history, according to McCarthy. There would be many reasons for them to want to stay with the network. The NFL may prefer that they stay with ESPN, also.
“Why mess with success? Don’t forget the NFL would probably have to approve. The league loves what ESPN is doing with the Mannings on TV,” another source told McCarthy. “Does the NFL want ‘ManningCast’ to be a streaming-only property?”
Peyton also has a deal with ESPN+ for his show “Peyton’s Places.” A similar series is in development for Eli called “Eli’s Places.” Amazon could try to replicate some of that, but the Mannings worked hard to build their media brand at ESPN.
Amazon will begin exclusively streaming “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts in 2022. The list of names that the tech giant is pursuing continues to grow.