Fans of the popular Internet Pat McAfee Show will find him in a different place come the fall. Yesterday, the Pittsburgh-area native announced a partnership with ESPN that starts later this year and will move his show from his channel to the ESPN platform. According to McAfee, his show will now be carried on ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN’s YouTube channel.
Here is McAfee’s official announcement, which gets into the details after joking about the show being radically different, as some feared.
According to the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand, the agreement will pay McAfee and his team at least $10 million per year. McAfee is walking away from his four-year, $120 million agreement with FanDuel after just two years.
Per McAfee, it was important to keep the show on YouTube while expanding it to television, too. He says the show will air on TV after the morning lineup of shows like Get Up while also streaming for free online. The entire McAfee crew will be coming along with him while the show will retain full creative control.
If there was a concession to be made, McAfee admitted the show will drop far fewer F-bombs than it has been so far, though he said every other curse word is fair game. Time will tell if the show’s language will change even without explicitly being told to or if ESPN’s higher-ups will truly appreciate hearing “shit” on television 17 times during the noon hour.
This is his McAfee’s major network partnership and until this point, all business decisions had been made by him. After retiring from the NFL in 2016, the former Indianapolis Colts punter quickly entered the media sphere, taking a job at Barstool Sports before going independent with his own show in 2018. It started small in a dimly lit conference room with a couple of desks but quickly gained attention, and McAfee turned it into the most popular daily sports show in America. To date, his channel has 2.2 million subscribers and has scored a number of big interviews, none more notable than his conversations with Aaron Rodgers. It’s not clear what the future of the channel holds and if ESPN will allow it to post clips of the show on it.
McAfee already had an established relationship with ESPN, appearing on College Gameday in recent years, and the two sides were able to agree on a much larger partnership.
Aside from starting in the fall, there’s no official date for when the merger will officially begin. Some fans remain concerned about McAfee being too censored by a family, Disney-owned company, but McAfee seems adamant that won’t be the case.