Stephen A. Smith, ESPN, Stephen A. Smith

ESPN Reportedly Offers Stephen A. Smith $90M Deal To Stay At Network

Smith is looking for a hefty pay raise after his contract expires next year.

ESPN’s push to keep Stephen A. Smith on its channel continues. The network has offered the First Take cohost a five-year, $90 million deal to stay, according to Puck.

Smith’s contract with the sports cable company expires in 2025, but ESPN plans to make Smith one of the highest-paid personalities if he extends his reign on the network. According to the New York Post, ESPN pitched a lucrative deal to Smith’s agency, William Morris Endeavor (WME), that would make his salary comparable to that of athletes.

Despite the hefty pay raise, Smith has higher aspirations for his next paycheck. Puck reports Smith wants $25 million a year, and is willing to talk to other networks that may cough up that amount.

Sports media reporter James Andrew Miller, the co-author of the ESPN oral history, Those Guys Have All the Fun, appeared on the SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast and confirmed that Smith expects to cash in on his next contract.

“Stephen A.’s deal is coming up,” Miller said on the show’s June 13 episode. “In fact, I think there have been preliminary talks already that have started. He’s looking for a big, big number. And I also feel, given the content world, he doesn’t even have to have another offer from one entity for that big number.”

He added, “I think what ESPN is up against is the possibility that WME could go out and create an architecture where Stephen A. has a podcast, a this, a deal with this, a deal with that, whatever, and at the end of the day, it’s $20 million a year.”

Right now, The Stephen A. Smith Show also covers the 56-year-old’s opinions in and beyond sports. However, a new opportunity could allow Smith more flexibility while expanding the topics he discusses as a media personality.

Smith originally stared with ESPN in 2003, but was fired after several years. His second stint with the worldwide leader has seen him become a superstar at the network.

It remains unclear if the 56-year-old will agree to ESPN’s deal.

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