ESPN Locks Up Shannon Sharpe With Multiyear Contract

ESPN said Tuesday that it has signed a multiyear contract with Shannon Sharpe, the Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion who joined the network less than a year ago after leaving his FS1 series Undisputed.

Under this new deal, Sharpe will expand his role on First Take, ESPN’s morning debate show featuring Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim. Sharpe joined the show in August 2023; last month, it recorded its most-viewed May ever.

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Sharpe also will see his role expand across other ESPN programs, ESPN said.

“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​, in a statement today about the new deal, the terms of which were not disclosed. “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.”

Sharpe, who also hosts his often-buzzy weekly podcast Club Shay Shay, exited Undisputed last June after the NBA Finals. He had been on FS1’s signature show since its launch alongside co-host Skip Bayless in 2016.

Bayless previously was a mainstay on First Take before moving to Fox Sports.

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