This week’s Monday Night Football game may not have seen the greatest conditions to play, but it didn’t stop fans from watching at home on ESPN.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football Week 13 presentation featuring the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills this past Monday delivered an audience of 14,970,000 viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes as fans at home watched the historically windy game in Western New York.
The 14.9 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 is Monday Night Football’s best audience since this year’s season opener matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Ravens. This is also the best audience that ESPN has seen on Week 13 year-over-year since 2013.
ESPN has to be happy with their viewership so far this season. The network is up season-to-date for their Monday Night Football product, with it averaging 13.2 million viewers a game, up 11% from 2020 and 4% from 2019.
1.63 million viewers tuned into the Manningcast alternate feed. This number is up from their last appearance in Week 11 of 1.575 million viewers. Peyton and Eli now hold ESPN’s record for the seven most-watched alternate telecasts.
Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast of the night among households, viewers for all key demos: Men 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54 as well as persons 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 on ESPN.
Next week’s MNF broadcast will be without the Manningcast, as they will be on a hiatus until week 17, where the Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was hinted that Aaron Rodgers will be a guest on the cast, so we will have one more chance to see if the Manningcast curse will take another victim.
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.