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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Bill Simmons reportedly making between $7-$9 million per year at HBO

Bill Simmons ESPN

From the moment it was revealed that ESPN would not be renewing his contract, Bill Simmons was courted by just about every media network and major internet venture out there. He ultimately struck a deal with HBO — a very lucrative one, at that.

The Hollywood Reporter released a lengthy feature on Simmons this week, revealing that sources claim Simmons will be making somewhere between $7 million and $9 million annually at HBO. He was reportedly making $5 million per year at the end of his ESPN contract, so Simmons is getting a nice pay raise along with his additional freedom.

Simmons spoke with THR about many of the things he has already touched on — his deteroriating relationship with ESPN’s brass, the network’s lack of support for Grantland, and much more. He also stepped out of character at times by accepting some of the blame for his ugly exit from the World Wide Leader.

“I’m not blameless,” Simmons said. “I acted like a brat a couple times, and there are things I could have handled better.”

More specifically, Simmons admitted that he probably should have toned down his podcast rant from 2014 when he accused NFL commissioner Roger Goodell of lying about his knowledge of the Ray Rice domestic abuse tape and challenged ESPN (or perhaps the NFL) to come after him for his remarks.

“If I’d heard it, I would’ve been like, ‘S—, we should soften that,'” Simmons said. “I just said it wrong. I was basically saying, ‘If the NFL wants to come after me…’ But it sounded like I was challenging ESPN, which was just stupid, and there’s no reason to do that.”

Don’t worry, there was still plenty of classic Simmons in the interview:

“Part of me thought about leaving ESPN early, but I was like, ‘No, I’m actually gonna take every [last] dollar they owe me.'”

That’s more like it.

Simmons has ripped ESPN on numerous occasions (here’s a notable example) since he left the company. His new show “Any Given Wednesday” will debut June 22 on HBO. Something tells us he isn’t done talking about the previous phase in his life.

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