Shannon Sharpe Announces Massive Multi-Year ESPN Deal On "First Take"

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Texas Black Expo Corporate Awards Luncheon Featuring Shannon Sharpe
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 17: Shannon Sharpe speaks onstage during a live taping of "Black Money Tree" podcast winning a NAACP Image Award during the Texas Black Expo Corporate Awards Luncheon featuring Shannon Sharpe at JW Marriott Houston by The Galleria on May 17, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)
Sharpe solidifies his relationship with ESPN.

Three-time Super Bowl winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe has signed to a multi-year arrangement with ESPN. Sharpe's role on First Take, ESPN's popular morning discussion program with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim, will grow as a result of this new agreement. “Shannon Sharpe has been an incredible addition to the First Take team, enhancing the show’s dynamic with his engaging presence and insightful commentary,” said David Roberts, ESPN’s Head of Event & Studio Production​. “Shannon’s chemistry with Stephen A. Smith has elevated our debates and been another key reason First Take is the premier destination for morning sports discussion.”

Thanks in part to Sharpe's contributions, First Take just achieved its most-viewed May ever and its 22nd straight month of year-over-year growth. Sharpe, who started working at First Take in August 2023, will also play a bigger part in a number of other ESPN shows that will be revealed later. Said Sharpe in a statement, “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!” Sharpe, Molly, and Stephen A. announced the news to kick off this morning's First Take.

Shannon Sharpe Announces ESPN Deal

Molly and Stephen A. Smith were both over the moon for Shannon Sharpe, and the group shared a special moment to open up First Take. Sharpe took in all the love and thanked everyone, then singled out Stephen A. Smith. He said, "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." Overall, Shannon Sharpe has been a fantastic addition to the debate program.

Sharpe's ESPN contract will expire sooner than Smith's current one, according to the rumored four-year arrangement. Smith's contract with ESPN expires in July 2025, and during First Take last year, he made hints about seeing Sharpe take over. To be sure, the Hall of Famer has two really popular podcasts, Club Shay Shay and Nightcap, so it's difficult to envision him wanting ESPN to be his full-time job. First Take is a fantastic side employment, but just as Smith frequently talks about comparable career objectives, Sharpe can aim higher thanks to his vast digital platform.

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About The Author
Jamil David is a Sports and pop culture writer based in Houston Tx. Jamil is a Sports Writer For HNHH, covering everything from the NBA to the NFL and everything in between.
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