• Loading stock data...
Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

Pat McAfee Could Make Surprise Appearance At Disney Upfront

  • Disney and ESPN meet with advertisers in New York today.
  • McAfee has said ‘creative control’ is ‘no-negotiable.’
Pat McAfee
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Walt Disney’s Co. ESPN could showcase Pat McAfee at today’s upfront presentation in New York, said sources.

Speculation has been building that the former NFL punter will exit his $120 million deal with FanDuel to bring part of his eponymous YouTube show to ESPN. 

TV networks like ESPN use the upfronts to announce key new hires and shows. Fox Sports, for example, trotted out new Major League Baseball analyst Derek Jeter at its upfront on Monday with Alex Rodriguez and Michael Strahan.

The former Indianapolis Colts punter already works as an analyst on ESPN’s “College GameDay.” He was a frequent guest on Mike Greenberg’s “Get Up” morning show. He’s a personality in the WWE. He also works with ex-teammate Peyton Manning Omaha Production for alternate telecasts of college football.

The 36-year-old recently tweeted out a picture of himself meeting with Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger. 

“A weatherman and a truck driver’s kid chatted about life today,” tweeted McAfee, with the hashtag #UpToSomethingSZN.

McAfee likes making a big entrance. His surprise appearance at WrestleMania 39 was not advertised or touted in advance by the wrestling promotion. Disney could also introduce McAfee via video, which is common for celebrity appearances at the upfronts.

But McAfee and Disney/ESPN are not necessarily a match made in heaven.

On his show Friday, the often foul-mouthed McAfee said he’d insist on full creative control.

“That is something that is non-negotiable…We ain’t changing,” he said.

ESPN has clashed with big talents like Dan Le Batard, Jemele Hill, and Bill Simmons, who wanted the freedom to say what they wanted.

While McAfee swears on the air, he generally avoids the third rail of national politics that led to Le Batard and Hill suspensions. 

McAfee is currently in the second year of a four-year contract with FanDuel, which pays him $30 million annually.

But he’s mercurial – often leaving employers like Barstool Sports, DAZN, and SiriusXM before his deals were up. He and his wife just had a baby girl.

“The exact amount of money McAfee would earn in a deal is unknown, though it is expected to be in the range of eight figures per year,” wrote the New York Post. “It may be less than the FanDuel deal of $30 million-plus a year he potentially would be walking away from.”

He would be the latest big-money hire by ESPN at a time when the network is laying off employees to comply with Disney’s demand to shed 7,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in savings company-wide.

Disney’s upfront is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

ESPN declined to comment. McAfee could not be reached.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Rockies Coach’s Team Plane Cockpit Visit Triggers Federal Investigation

A since-deleted video shows him sitting in the cockpit mid-flight.

NBA Media Rights Likely Headed for Open Market Next Week

The league is reportedly letting Monday’s deadline pass without a deal.

The Questions Are Mounting for ‘Spulu’ As Lawmakers Demand Answers

A pair of high-powered Congressmen are demanding answers about the forthcoming service.

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why Ian Rapoport Lives for the NFL Draft’s Chaos

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.
April 20, 2024

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
April 7, 2024

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

No Subscription Totals? Netflix’s Decision Could Impact Sports Plans

The streaming giant says a focus on subscriber totals doesn’t reflect the full state of the company.
April 16, 2024

Chicago’s Sports Media About to Experience a Major Shake-Up

Three Chicago pro teams’ media rights could shift to Stadium as soon as this fall.
April 18, 2024

Diamond Sports Group Is About to Survive Bankruptcy. Will It Matter?

The bankrupt company faces key questions relating to both programming and distribution.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 16, 2024

The Yankees’ Radio Voice Retires, Ending an Era of Longevity

The longtime Yankees radio announcer was an industry outlier in many respects.
April 15, 2024

Star-Studded NBA Play-In a Potential Ratings Boon for ESPN and TNT

The initial portion of the NBA postseason features three former MVPs.
April 15, 2024

Scott Van Pelt’s Podcast Reboot Latest in Peyton Manning’s Budding ESPN/Omaha Fiefdom

ESPN star Scott Van Pelt is joining forces with Peyton Manning.
April 14, 2024

Calling the Masters Can Make You—or Break You

Legends are made at Augusta—as long as they do things Augusta’s way.