Shannon Sharpe Inks Long-Term Deal w/ ESPN Following Year Of ‘Skyrocketed’ Ratings

Shannon Sharpe

Shannon Sharpe Inks Long-Term Deal w/ ESPN Following Year Of ‘Skyrocketed’ Ratings

Retired NFL star Shannon Sharpe recently celebrated his extension offer with ESPN.

Joined by his current TV co-hosts, the sports commentator was all smiles while revealing he’s accepted a long-term partnership deal with the network.

Shannon Sharpe celebrated the news during a recent episode of Stephen A. Smith’s First Take, where Smith, alongside co-host Molly Qerim shared appreciation for Sharpe’s contributions since joining the staple series nearly a year ago. Congratulating the former tight end, Molly Qerim stated:

“I want to say huge congrats, you have been such an incredible addition to the show.”

She continued:

“You skyrocketed the ratings…but you’ve been a great teammate. Even though you’re very abusive on camera!…We’re so, so grateful to have you. Huge congrats on your new long-term extension with ESPN. I know you’ll be doing stuff with us beyond First Take…You’ve had such an immediate impact…and it’s an honor to work with you.”

Stephen A. Smith added:

“You were a big-time addition to the show…Our friendship has developed and elevated over the last several months. I’ve a lot of love, a lot of respect for you…You bring it all the time. I’m indebted to the work you’ve done on this show and the relationship we’ve cultivated together.”

If you recall, Sharpe joined the Smith-led program in August 2023 after tearfully leaving Skip BaylessUndisputed after 7 years of co-hosting the show. The former athlete announced his plans to depart from the series earlier that year, confirming that FS1 opted not to buy out his contract.

Since then, Sharpe has been appearing on Smith’s daytime sports series everyday Monday and Tuesday and has seen much success. Sharpe went on to express gratitude to his colleague for giving him the opportunity in the first place, stating during the episode:

“Stephen A., I know this moment is not possible without you…As you mentioned to me earlier, you have bosses, but you extended the olive branch and let them know that you wanted me to be a part of this family,”

Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith

He continued:

“Being a part of this family has been a blessing…Everything about this relationship with ESPN, Stephen A., and First Take, has been tremendous. I look forward to expanding my role and showing more of the world what I have to offer. The show goes on!”

ESPN reportedly confirmed that the multiyear deal will see Sharpe continue to be a regular contributor on First Take, as well as take on roles in other programs to be announced at a later date.


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Authored by: Kay Johnson