Prominent NFL program, “The Pat McAfee Show”, is making a significant shift to ESPN in a multimillion-dollar deal set to begin in the fall, as reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
Pat McAfee, the renowned sports media personality, is expected to leave behind his four-year, $120 million contract with FanDuel, despite being in the second year of the agreement.
While the exact amount ESPN will pay McAfee remains undisclosed, sources suggest to Marchand that it will be a deal worth more than eight figures annually.
The move comes amidst Disney’s ongoing layoffs, which are resulting in the elimination of 7,000 jobs. ESPN has chosen not to comment on the development.
Although McAfee already makes regular appearances on “College GameDay” for ESPN, his YouTube show offers a more freewheeling format that includes explicit language.
While “The Pat McAfee Show” is expected to continue in some capacity on YouTube, there are indications that one or two hours of the program could be featured on ESPN, as it would be more feasible for the network to accommodate McAfee’s deal.
ESPN executives have made it clear that they would only pursue a deal if they believed it would be profitable for the company. Last week, when The Post first reported ESPN’s interest in acquiring McAfee’s services, the charismatic host addressed concerns from some fans about Disney’s potential influence on the show’s language and overall vibe, stating that he is not one to change easily and jokingly referred to himself as being “too dumb.” to make those type of changes.
There's some rumblings about this particular progrum on the internet right now..
We are too dumb to change #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/blXKONK6P1
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 9, 2023
It is anticipated that McAfee will bring his crew along with him, including former Pro Bowl linebacker A.J. Hawk and a number of other of his co-hosts who serve as on-air personalities for the program.
McAfee’s journey in sports media has been nothing short of remarkable. He walked away from a lucrative career as a Pro Bowl punter for the Indianapolis Colts and has since achieved great success, working with prominent media outlets such as Barstool Sports, ESPN, Fox, and FanDuel, which represented his most significant deal to date.
The unexpected separation from FanDuel comes only two years into the monumental contract, as McAfee expressed a desire to lighten his behind-the-scenes workload. Recently, McAfee and his wife welcomed their first child. The partnership with ESPN is expected to help him with a lot of the behind-the-scenes parts of running a show which will free time for him.
This move instantly becomes one of the most significant sports media stories of the year, signaling a new chapter in Pat McAfee’s already impressive career.