Score! How Much Do Your Favorite Sports Analysts Make?
Watching sports today often involves more than just the game itself. Fans love pregame and post-game shows and commentary. Throughout the game and on the days leading up to it, fans interact with their favorite athletes and sports media personalities on social media.
Media giants like ESPN have capitalized on the collective desire of the public to have a whole world of media dedicated to their favorite sports. Sports analysts have won Emmys, and new networks continue to be created. When it comes to a paycheck, how much do you think sports analysts make compared to the athletes they promote? Let’s find out!
Back in the day, Lisa Salters made quite a splash on the Lady Lions, Penn State's women's basketball team. At the close of her playing career, she launched a career in broadcasting and is now a familiar face at most major sporting events.
Mike Golic seems to be one of the busiest men in sportscasting. He has been a regular on ESPN (radio and television) for more than 20 years. Currently, he makes up one half of Golic and Wingo, an ESPN Radio evening show, and he’s an analyst on ESPN and ESPN2 for both college and professional football.
Molly Qerim makes up one-third of the trio that hosts First Take, one of the top sports shows on television. Considering the extreme success of the show she hosts alongside Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, it makes perfect sense that she makes $500,000 a year.
Even if you don't recognize Al Michaels by name, you almost certainly know his voice. Michaels has a laundry list of achievements in the world of play-by-play sportscasting, and he has been fortunate enough to participate in some of the most historic moments in sports.
Holly Rowe has been a familiar figure on ESPN for more than two decades. She got her start in the world of college football as a sideline reporter, and she has covered many high-stakes post-season bowls. Rowe's talents aren’t exclusive to football, however.
Many of the most successful sportscasters do a variety of reporting over the course of their careers. Joe Buck has focused on play-by-play reporting for his entire career — and he is a master. Since 1996, he has been the play-by-play broadcaster for all but two of the World Series.
ESPN considers Wendi Nix's talent to be worth a whopping $800,000 a year, and that’s money well spent. Nix is the co-host of the top-rated program on ESPN, NFL Live. Although she's on the leading sports channel today, she began her career with smaller local channels in Boston and South Carolina.
Skip Bayless got the meme treatment for referring to himself as Drip Bayless because of his stylish clothes. He is a veteran in the world of sports media. He started off in the ‘80s as a journalist and radio host and eventually moved on to star on television.
Pam Oliver's career had humble beginnings, but she earns a $1 million salary today that makes the journey worthwhile. In the ‘80s, she served as the sports reporter on a variety of local news networks. Her talents earned her a dream job at ESPN. Eventually, she went on to Fox Sports, where she became a sideline reporter for the NFL.
In 2000, Colin Cowherd was unknown in the world of national sports broadcasting. Today, he is one of the top sports analysts in America. Cowherd started at ESPN with a radio show and went on to become one of the stars of Sports Nation.
After winning the Venus International Model Search pageant, Leeann Tweeden began a successful career in modeling, and that ultimately provided her with the training and access she needed to break into the world of sports journalism. She was the host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period until the show went off the air.
Even people who don’t watch sports usually recognize Michael Wilbon's face. Day or night, you are likely to see his face if you watch ESPN for a few minutes. He started his sports career with a 30-year tenure as a sportswriter for The Washington Post.
Jemele Hill's resume probably can’t fit on one page. She was one of the original faces of ESPN, and there was a time when you could watch one of her shows at almost any time of day. She starred in His and Hers, Numbers Never Lie and SC6.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have worked together for most of their careers. After the two of them rose to the top as writers at The Washington Post, Kornheiser joined his longtime workmate as a co-host on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.
Throughout her career, Charissa Thompson has worked on almost every channel that plays any type of game, including GSN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Versus and the Big Ten Network. She first became a household name when she starred as the co-host of SportsNation on ESPN.
Mike Greenberg makes up one half of the iconic Mike and Mike duo who host their namesake ESPN Radio show. In addition to getting great ratings on the radio, he is also a memorable face on ESPN's television channel as a frequent host on the hit show SportsCenter.
For many years, Lindsay Czarniak was an ESPN stalwart. Like many of the best sports analysts on the network, she was a host on SportsCenter from time to time. In 2013, she made a big move over to Fox Sports.
Bob Costas is one of the original sportscasters. He made a name for himself long before the likes of ESPN and Fox Sports created a haven for sportscasters to thrive. During his memorable 30-year stint with NBC Sports, he won multiple Emmys and various other awards.
Erin Andrews' presence is a constant on NFL broadcasts, and she makes an impressive $2 million a year working the sidelines. Unlike many of today's most successful sportscasters, she began her career as a freelance reporter. Her talents caught the eye of ESPN, where she has been working since 2004.
Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith brings an unmatched level of charisma and entertainment to any set. It only makes sense that the ESPN veteran makes an annual $10 million salary. He is one of the stars of the hit sports talk show First Take.
Linda Cohn's career has been truly historic. When she landed a sports anchor job on an ABC radio show, she became the first woman in America to be hired full-time as a sports anchor. She went on to build a long career with ESPN, where she has hosted more episodes of SportsCenter than any other co-hosts.
With annual income of $30 million a year, Jim Rome is perhaps the most successful sports analyst outside of Fox Sports or ESPN. In the earlier part of his career, he was well known for his hit radio show. Eventually, ESPN gave him his own television show called Jim Rome Is Burning.
Suzy Kolber has always been a trailblazer. When ESPN2 launched in 1992, she became one of the most familiar faces on the network. After a few years with the network, she moved to Fox Sports, but later returned.
In his collegiate football career, Ahmad Rashad earned a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame and then went on to achieve greatness in the NFL. Since then, he has been a sports analyst for both ABC and NBC. He covers professional baseball, football and basketball and was the long-term host of NBA Inside Stuff.
Andrea Kremer made history when she and Hannah Storm commentated Thursday Night Football. They were the first completely female team to call a major men's sporting event. During her long career, Kremer has covered major moments in almost every sport, including 25 Super Bowls.
Tracy McGrady has always been a high achiever. His success in the NBA earned him a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since retirement, he has been a very busy NBA analyst for ESPN. His exact annual salary is unknown, but there is plenty of data to suggest he's a top earner with the network.
Samantha Ponder started her career as a sideline reporter for ESPN. When Erin Andrews moved to her major role providing NFL coverage, Ponder filled her vacancy on the sidelines for College GameDay. Before ESPN lost the sporting event, Ponder was also a sideline reporter for Thursday Night Football.
Kevin Garnett transitioned directly from a successful career in the NBA to a successful career in sports broadcasting. He joined the cast of TNT's Inside the NBA soon after retirement. He became so popular on the show that he was given his own segment called Area 21.
With a $5 million annual salary, Michelle Beadle holds the record as the highest-paid woman in sports broadcasting. Her career trajectory didn't follow the normal ESPN path followed by many of the most successful sports analysts. She began with stints on College Sports Television and the YES Network before joining ESPN.
Alexi Lalas is a retired soccer player who made quite a contribution to the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team in his playing days. He is one of the highest paid sports analysts working exclusively in soccer and has an estimated annual salary of $1.5 million.