clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pat McAfee is headed to ESPN, another sign he’s done as a WWE regular

Last week, there was a report that former SmackDown color commentator and current occasional big event WWE wrestler Pat McAfee was taking his popular daily sports talk show to ESPN.

Today (May 16), he made that official in typical Pat Mac style. McAfee, who’s only been popping in on his show recently after his wife gave birth to their first child, ended today’s episode with a video explaining the move... and lightly trolling those who accused him of selling out before learning the particulars of the deal.

The key piece for McAfee’s daily fans is that ESPN isn’t making changes, and will simulcast the show on their main cable channel & their subscription streaming platform while leaving it on YouTube for free.

For McAfee’s WWE fans, Andrew Marchand’s report on the deal for The New York Post is probably more pertinent:

McAfee appears as if he will walk away from his four-year, $120 million contract with FanDuel. He is in the second year of the agreement.

The amount ESPN will pay McAfee is not fully known yet, but it is more than eight figures per year, according to sources.

We’re not sure what WWE is paying Pat, but it wasn’t those kinds of numbers. And while it’s not clear if the ESPN deal is actually a raise (is “more than eight figures” $10 million? $80? Does that mean nine figures?), the commitment he & the Disney-owned brand are making to one another means that’s going to be far and away his top priority. So if it wasn’t already clear, we’re unlikely to see McAfee return as a regular in any capacity.

But while he expertly used his time with WWE to help raise his profile, McAfee also pursued working there because it was a lifelong dream. That means that while it’s unlikely he’ll be rejoining his pal Michael Cole on the SmackDAHN desk (which is okay, since Wade Barrett is killing it in the role), don’t be surprised to see him show up for a spot or two on future stadium shows.

He’s vowed his journey to the WWE Hall of Fame isn’t over. And as this deal shows, McAfee knows how to execute his vision...

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats