Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee retired from the NFL after the 2016 season to pursue a career in sports media. Just a few years later, he is reportedly expected to leave FanDuel and begin a partnership with ESPN.
McAfee, age 36, began the Pat McAfee Show shortly after he left Barstool Sports. By 2019, the show aired once per week on DAZN and Westwood One then made the jump to Sirius XM in 2020. One year later, McAfee announced he signed a four-year deal with FanDuel worth $120 million.
The partnership kept his show on YouTube and made FanDuel an exclusive partner of the show. He has also become a fan-favorite panelist on ESPN’s “College GameDay” and served as an announcer for WWE.
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Now, amid significant layoffs at ESPN, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently met with McAfee to discuss a potential deal. As the company continues to overhaul its operations, with more than 4,000 jobs slashed this year, ESPN is expected to bring McAfee’s show into its platform.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that ESPN is the favorite to land the Pat McAfee Show. In a follow-up interview with Dexter Henry, Marchand explained why he believes McAfee is taking his show to ESPN.
“It’s very likely that he ends up on ESPN. You look at what McAfee wants, he’s talked about the idea that when you have your own show, you have to do all the back-office stuff, things you don’t see. He wanted to find someone he could partner with, let them handle that stuff…I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen.”Andrew Marchand on The Pat McAfee Show likely leaving FanDuel for ESPN
McAfee, who just announced he and his wife had a baby, responded to the rumors on Tuesday with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport hosting the show.
For now, it’s clear that McAfee won’t announce anything publicly and his existing partnership with FanDuel remains. However, the meeting with Disney’s CEO and Marchand’s reporting makes it very likely that McAfee will likely walk away from the remainder of his $120 million deal to expand his partnership with ESPN.
Fortunately for fans of the Pat McAfee Show, it’s expected to maintain its routine daily schedule with McAfee making it clear that the show’s programming and voice won’t be changing no matter what happens.