Report: Stephen A. Smith getting close to $8 million per year in new ESPN deal
Stephen A. Smith has been one of the most polarizing figures in sports media for several years now, and ESPN proved how valuable he is to the company with the latest contract extension he signed.
Smith recently signed a new five-year deal with ESPN that will pay him around $8 million per year, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. The new deal dwarfs Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million salary, which was ESPN’s previous known highest salary.
Smith had one year left on his current deal, according to Marchand, but ESPN enticed him to sign an extension by giving him money up front. James Andrew Miller, who published a best-selling book about the ins and outs of ESPN several years ago, believe’s Marchand’s number of $8 million for Smith is low. Miller has reason to believe Stephen A. got more than $10 million per year.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) November 7, 2019
Either way, it’s an astronomical amount of money.
Smith is the type of personality that gets people who love him and hate him to tune in, and that makes him an invaluable asset to ESPN. He makes his fair share of on-air flubs and always gets roasted for them, but even those embarrassing moments help drive ratings for ESPN>. There was no way they were going to let him leave for another network.