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How will a main ESPN booth with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman affect the Manningcast?

Amid reports that ESPN has landed Joe Buck to call Monday Night Football alongside former partner Troy Aikman, Mike Florio and Myles Simmons agree that the move is huge for ESPN.

Many pro football viewers chose the Manningcast over the main ESPN broadcast on Monday nights in 2021 because they didn’t care for the three-man booth. Now that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be replacing Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick, a question arises.

How many will choose the Manningcast over the transplanted No. 1 team on Fox?

For the season-ending playoff game on a Monday night in January, only 6.1 percent of the total audience picked Peyton and Eli Manning over the primary telecast. With Buck and Aikman now taking over, how will the in-house competition play out?

And it surely will be competitive. How can it not be? They’ll say all the right things. But Buck and Aikman will pay attention to the numbers, as will Peyton and Eli.

There’s also a chance that Peyton isn’t thrilled with ESPN’s successful swing for the fences. He may have agreed to do the Manningcast with the express or implied understanding that ESPN wouldn’t hire an A-list booth. Now that ESPN has gone all in to snatch the top team from Fox, it becomes harder for the Mannings to generate good numbers.

They signed a one-year extension in February, putting them under contract through 2024. But some contracts were made to be broken, like Buck’s at Fox. If Peyton isn’t happy with the effort to make the main broadcast more attractive than the Manningcast, maybe Peyton has a change of heart. Especially if Amazon still wants to move the Manningcast to Thursdays.