New Morning Consult Data Peyton Manning Tops List of Most-Loved Sports Media Personalities

New poll shows Manning, whose ESPN+ show launches this month,
is beloved by ‘avid sports fans

CREDIT: Morning Consult

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” has tried more than once to secure
former quarterback Peyton Manning’s services in the broadcast
booth since his 2016 NFL retirement – and a new ranking of some
of the most high-profile sports media personalities shows why:
The two-time Super Bowl champion and future first-ballot Hall
of Famer is beloved by sports fans.

A new Morning Consult survey of 565 self-described “avid sports
fans” found 79 percent viewed Manning favorably versus 11 percent
who had an unfavorable view. The former Indianapolis Colt and Denver Bronco, who later this month debuts a 30-episode docuseries on
streaming service ESPN+ spotlighting the biggest moments in NFL
history, is ranked No. 1 in net favorability (the share with a favorable
view of him minus the share with an unfavorable view) with a
rating of 68 percentage points.

The July 1-2 poll, which has a 4-point margin of error for the
“avid sports fans” demographic, sought to test the popularity of
some of the top figures from who are regularly seen, read or heard
in the national sports media landscape.
The personalities were pulled from The Big Lead’s list of the 75
most powerful people in sports media.

While Manning – whose “Peyton’s Places” series launches with
four episodes on July 29 and one weekly through the end of the
upcoming season – narrowly led NBA Hall of Famer and current
“NBA on TNT” star Charles Barkley (65 points) in net favorability,
51 percent of avid sports fans said they viewed the former
signal-caller “very favorably,” compared with 41 percent who said
the same of Barkley.

The NFL is America’s dominant sports league, home to 40 of the
top 50 live sporting events in 2018, according to Nielsen, and
Manning was joined at the top of the Morning Consult ranking by
a number of media personalities with an ongoing connection to
the league. That includes veteran play-by-play commentators
Al Michaels of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” Mike Tirico of NBC
and Jim Nantz of CBS. Avid sports fans also rated Michaels’ color
co-pilot Cris Collinsworth and Nantz’s broadcast partner, Tony
Romo, highly.

The survey also suggests that when it comes to generating ratings,
popularity isn’t everything: Some of the most well-paid sports
media personalities found themselves at the bottom of the net
favorability rankings.

Three of the lowest-rated people on the list – Skip Bayless and
Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN – are
contrarian progenitors of the so-called “hot take,” a deliberately
provocative talking point prevalent in today’s sports conversation.

About Morning Consult

Named one of the fastest growing technology companies in North
America by Deloitte, Morning Consult is revolutionizing ways to
collect, organize, and share survey research data globally to transform
how leaders in business and government make decisions. Morning
Consult provides brand-tracking technology, survey research, and
news for hundreds of the world’s biggest companies and industry
associations. Additionally, Morning Consult conducts regular
surveys for major media organizations including POLITICO, The
Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg, and The New York Times. 

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