Videos by OutKick
The Pat McAfee Show to ESPN? Say it aint so!
The former Indianapolis Colts punter-turned-sports pop culture star is reportedly in talks to bring his daily talk show to ESPN, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.
The potential move comes after McAfee tweeted out an update regarding his situation with FanDuel earlier this year. The sports betting company had signed him to a massive four-year, $120 million deal in 2021 but it apparently hasn’t been going the way McAfee had hoped.
IS DISNEY-OWNED ESPN THE BEST MOVE FOR MCAFEE?
“We and the new group of FD execs don’t necessarily have the same philosophical views on stuff, nothing but love for them, they are doing their thing but, certainly a different way of operating these days,” McAfee tweeted in February, hinting at some disagreements between the two parties.
He then went on to defend what has made his show unique and propelled him into stardom.
“Facts are facts.. We’ve really been quite a f*cking disruptor in this whole daily Sports Media world. I’m VERY proud of it.. We don’t have producers giving us takes or researchers telling us what to talk about…We don’t have any investors.. We don’t have a “lead in audience” or “people leaving their TVs on over night”.. We, alongside our incredible fanbase, built this thing both literally and figuratively.. we decide what to chat about.. we pay for the footage rights.. We negotiate the deals with our partners.. and we changed the game.”
But if the show heads to ESPN would any of that remain?
(Full disclosure, I’m a McAfee fan. I was following him years ago during his comedy days in Indianapolis and then when he went to Barstool, SiriusXM etc.. So if I have these questions, you can be sure some of his core audience does as well.)
MCAFEE HAS BECOME A MULTI-PLATFORM STAR
McAfee has previous ties to ESPN. Last fall he was one of the on-air personalities on ESPN’s College Gameday weekly program. He’s also hosted various alternate college football broadcasts on ESPN2.
“I think we had the greatest year [ESPN’s College Gameday] had in like 2 decades or something ratings wise… fucking WILD.. I was told a lot of Old Whites weren’t gonna watch because of me,” McAfee tweeted.
However, those same ESPN Executives that doubted him back then and questioned his appeal to the audience would be his new bosses now.
He would also be working with a channel that includes people that are offended by the words “Mt. Rushmore” and viewers that were angry when an on-air personality called Lizzo fat.
There’s also that thing with the “controversial” Aaron Rodgers.
If McAfee were working for Disney / ESPN and the company faced boycotts and protests over McAfee interviewing Rodgers, would the company have stepped in and told Pat he couldn’t have Rodgers on anymore? It’s not that far-fetched of an idea.
On Tuesday afternoon, McAfee himself seemed to fan the flames, stating in part: “We are too dumb to change.”
Is it all smoke and mirrors? We shall see.
One thing’s for certain, McAfee should be commended for building an absolute juggernaut of a brand. There’s no doubt it’s been successful, even getting the attention of Brett Favre as the recipient of a lawsuit.
It’d be interesting to see what the finalized deal is that McAfee makes if he heads to ESPN. Would they have rights for the entire program? Or would they take a single hour or a daily “Best of,” as Marchand suggested?
Regardless, as we recently saw with Barstool, once Dave Portnoy sold the entire company to PENN Entertainment, he handed over his power to make decisions that he previously would have, for better or worse.
It’s a bit different with McAfee than an entire company, but the precipice remains the same… would he still be Pat McAfee?
2 CommentsLeave a Reply
Another soon-to-be woke sellout. Sad.
Ugh. Don’t sellout Pat. ESPN will likely have to violate your contract and lay you off in the next year or two anyways.