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Stephen A. Smith attends a playoff basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Crypto.com Arena on May 08, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

 

Sports coverage isn’t what it used to be.

It’s no longer about the actual story or what’s going on in the NBA or the NFL as much as it is about who’s reporting the story or — more often than not — sharing their thoughts on it.

For better or worse, Stephen A. Smith has been at the forefront of that movement.

The renowned pundit has become the face of ESPN, and he knows it.

That’s why he’s reportedly pushing to get a significant pay raise in his next contract.

According to a report by Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, he could get something between $20 million and $25 million per year in his next contract with the sports broadcast giant (via NBA Central).

Notably, that would put him above the $90 million Troy Aikman got and more than the $85 million and $75 million for the likes of Pat McAfee and Joe Buck, respectively.

Of course, Stephen A. Smith draws viewers, so this makes sense for the company.

First Take is the undisputed leader when it comes to sports talk shows, even if half of the people tuning in may not always agree with Smith.

Stephen A. has drawn plenty of negative attention for some of his latest rants and some somewhat unhinged comments, and he’s often jumped the gun to make some bold claims about athletes while citing anonymous sources, so he’s made several enemies along the way.

Still, this is the content and engagement era, and Smith has been a money-making machine for ESPN.

The post Stephen A. Smith Could Make Up To $25 Million Per Year On Next Contract appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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