Wetzel: NFL Ratings Dropping Because Peyton Manning Is Off Riding A Bike (I Sorta Made Up The 2nd Part)

This morning I blogged that Peyton Manning was out riding a bike this morning instead of being hunkered down in a dark room in his 16,000 sq. ft. Denver mansion watching football so he’d be prepared to do color commentary for a football game this weekend. Then someone alerts me that Dan Wetzel went and claimed last night that part of the reason why NFL ratings are dropping is because Peyton is retired — and riding a bike on a Wednesday instead of being on the road.
From Wetzel:

There is one other reason that has gotten scant attention but may be a bigger contributing factor than most realize.

Peyton Manning.

Or more specifically, no Peyton Manning.

Traditionally the NFL hasn’t relied on a single star to drive ratings. As such, when one retires, as Manning did following the 2015 season when he led Denver to the Super Bowl, the numbers don’t take a hit the way they can for the NBA, PGA or other sports when a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods isn’t around.

Manning might be an exception. The uber-popular personality drew in casual viewers in ways that no one else in the league could, or can.


In 2014 the viewership was even stronger when Manning and Denver averaged 23.98 million viewers across nine national network broadcasts and 16.03 million in one “MNF” appearance.

Again, the ratings surge wasn’t all Manning and the ratings drop isn’t all no Manning. However, for the NFL to deliver the truly big event numbers, it needs more than its core audience that tunes in for nearly everything. It needs the more casual fan to flip on the game, see a recognizable name or brand, and watch.

This poor guy Peyton apparently has the ratings of the NFL on his shoulders. Can’t we just leave a guy be who just wants to ride his bike and make a few bucks giving the same speech to corporations and then jetting home to catch Wheel of Fortune. You know who Monday Night Football color commentary is for? Guys who still need a check – Jason Witten. Peyton’s wiping his pearly white ass with MNF checks, especially when stoners were lining his stock fund with pizza purchases.
CBS has Romo; Fox has Troy; NBC has Cris; ESPN has a mess. How big of a mess is ESPN’s NFL coverage? They’re bringing back Berman to save Countdown. No way Peyton should get caught up in that mess. I keep riding my bike and chatting with Apple execs for cool million dollar checks.
Don’t fall for Wetzel’s pressure, Pey Pey.

Peyton Manning Getting A Bike Ride In This Morning
Peyton Manning Getting A Bike Ride In This Morning
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