Stephen A. Smith, a 51-year old sports television personality for ESPN, has recently signed a new 5-year contract with the network worth $8 million a year. That makes him the highest-paid sportscaster on the system.
According to reports, Smith’s new contract beats the $6.5 million yearly contract that the GetUp! Host Mike Greenberg is being paid. As part of the deal, ESPN also reportedly gave Smith a part of his new salary upfront even though he still has one year remaining in his current contract.
Smith’s show SportsCenter with Stephen A. Smith will start the ball rolling for ESPN’s game coverage of the NBA regular season and playoffs every Wednesday. He will also continue hosting on First Take, a daily morning talk show with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim. He will keep working throughout ESPN’s NBA coverage.
Smith is also expected to be seen on the ESPN+ subscription service, which will be a part of the Disney+ bundle package with Hulu. With all these on his plate now, Smith will have to leave his ESPN Radio show next year.
Meanwhile, Smith recalled the proudest moment he had when he signed his first contract with ESPN over a decade ago in August 2005.
“The minute I signed that contract, the first thing I did was I got in my car, and I drove to Queens, I drove to the PAL center. I walked by everybody, and I walked downstairs, and my mother was behind the counter and said, let’s go, you’re not working anymore… I said your vacations are on me,” he said in an interview with Complex.