Peyton Manning is set to host the 2017 ESPYS, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the annual sports awards show.
The ESPYS originally aired on ESPN — hence the trophy’s name — but they shifted over to sister network ABC a few years ago. Though dwindling, broadcast television’s viewership is higher than cable’s, hence the decision by Disney.
“It’s an honor to be asked to host ‘The ESPYS,’ and it’s even more meaningful that it’s the 25th year for this incredible event,” Manning said in a Tuesday morning media release. “‘The ESPYS’ have been a part of my life during my entire career — I can still remember attending my very first show back in 1998 before my rookie season in the NFL. Over the years, ‘The ESPYS’ have celebrated some of my favorite athletes and sports moments. In addition to recognizing a special year in sports, the 25th ‘ESPYS’ will allow us to go down memory lane and pay tribute to those who have played such a huge part in this program’s success.”
“Most of all, I’m looking forward to celebrating the winners of the Arthur Ashe Award, the Pat Tillman Award and the Jimmy V Award, which headlines ‘The ESPYS’ great tradition of raising money and awareness for the V Foundation for Cancer Research,” he continued. “That’s what has always stood out to me about ‘The ESPYS’ — it honors great athletes and great teams while serving a larger purpose supporting a very important cause.”
Manning retired from the NFL after the 2015 season. The two-time Super Bowl Champion and older brother of Eli Manning finished his career as the only five-time Most Valuable Player in league history, and was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection, as well as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdown passes, wins, and 4,000-yard passing seasons.
“Though Peyton’s tremendous success in the NFL is the prism through which most sports fans know him, his warm sense of humor and ability to connect with an audience have been highlighted in his commercial work and when he hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ to critical acclaim,” said ‘ESPYS’ executive producer Maura Mandt. “Those qualities will make him a wonderful host for this year’s show.”
The 2017 “ESPYS” will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.