Former WWE color commentator Pat McAfee has reportedly inked a groundbreaking five-year contract with ESPN worth a staggering $85 million. The deal, as reported by The New York Post, includes McAfee's popular show, The Pat McAfee Show, and his presence on ESPN's cable and YouTube channels, as well as their official app and ESPN+ streaming service.
With an estimated annual income of $17 million, the 36-year-old will continue hosting his show and serving as an ESPN College GameDay analyst. Remarkably, McAfee will maintain complete control over all aspects of his performance, including the selection of guests.
McAfee's Independent Production: ESPN Partnership Unleashes Possibilities
In a conversation with The New York Post, McAfee revealed his plans to finance his crew and produce the show independently personally. At the same time, ESPN handles the logistical backend tasks and provides him with an unparalleled platform.
He expressed excitement about the immense possibilities, highlighting ESPN's extensive production assets, primary league rights, and unrivaled sports world access. McAfee eagerly awaits the fall to kick-start his new venture with ESPN, which involved several months of negotiations, discussions, Zoom meetings, phone calls, texts, and emails with ESPN executive Jimmy Pitaro.
McAfee's last appearance in WWE occurred during this year's Royal Rumble event, where he made a surprise comeback as a commentator, generating significant buzz among fans. Additionally, he participated in an impromptu match against The Miz during WrestleMania 39 Night One, marking his final in-ring appearance for the promotion.
Notably, McAfee's podcast, The Pat McAfee Show, has welcomed a host of prominent WWE personalities as guests, including legends like Stone Cold Steve Austin and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. McAfee's tenure as a commentator on SmackDown garnered widespread acclaim from fans, who eagerly anticipate his potential return to the company in the future.
With his vast ESPN deal, McAfee has secured financial success and solidified his multifaceted sports media personality position. As he embarks on this new chapter, fans can only anticipate the unique content and insightful analysis that McAfee will bring to the world of sports and entertainment.
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