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It’s Official: Pat McAfee Moving Show to ESPN This Fall

  • The former Colts punter appears in person at Disney upfront.
  • His show will follow ‘Get Up’ and ‘First Take’ on the ESPN netowrks.
Pat McAfee
Scott Clarke / ESPN Images

NEW YORK–Pat McAfee has confirmed he will move his YouTube show to ESPN in the fall.

Under a new multi-year agreement, “The Pat McAfee Show” will air live on weekdays on ESPN, the ESPN YouTube Channel, the ESPN App, and ESPN+ streaming platform. 

McAfee will continue as a college football analyst on “College GameDay.” He will continue to host alternate presentations of college football games on ESPN.

With the four letters behind him, McAfee crowed, “We should be able to reach the entire world” at the Walt Disney Co.’s upfront presentation here Tuesday.

It’s a risky move by McAfee. He’s walking away from a monster $120 million, four-year deal with FanDuel after only two years. Other previous ESPNers like Dan Le Batard, Jemele Hill and Bill Simmons felt stifled by the constraints of the Mouse House

Le Batard congratulated McAfee in a tweet — while delivering a warning: “You’ve done the hardest thing, your way. You’ve built a beast. Don’t let anyone tame it.”

Meanwhile, top Disney and ESPN management will have to explain to their employees why they will pay McAfee over $10 million a year while shedding 7,000 jobs and cutting $5.5 billion in costs worldwide.

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Details on a new deal between ESPN and the former Indianapolis Colts punter: 

  • The show is expected to move to ESPN this fall. The 36-year-old McAfee said he would retain creative control under a licensing deal with ESPN. Previous ESPN talents like Dan Le Batard and Bill Simmons bridled at the constraints of working for Disney. McAfee promised not to drop so many F-bombs on his show.
  • There will be no change in the show’s format, according to McAfee. He’s had a meteoric rise in sports media due to his ability to land big-name guests like New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Colts teammate Peyton Manning.
  • The addition of his show will create a new daytime programming block for ESPN. McAfee’s show will follow Mike Greenberg’s “Get Up” (8 a.m. to 10 a.m., ET) and Stephen A. Smith’s “First Take” (10 a.m. to noon, ET)

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro called McAfee a “proven” talent who can deliver audiences.

“He and his team have built The Pat McAfee Show into one of the most engaging programs in sports and all of media,” he said in a statement. “It’s a destination for athlete interviews and breaking news and the centerpiece of a growing community of sports fans. We’re honored to bring Pat and the show to ESPN through a multifaceted, multi-platform approach.”

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