Terry Bradshaw: $1 Million
Terry Bradshaw doesn’t look the kind of guy to hold the same amount of Super Bowl Championships as some of the greats, but he is. As soon as he retired from the NFL, he had a job as a sports caster.
Looking at him, you wouldn’t think that he celebrated his 70th birthday back in 2018 and is currently making an estimated $1 million annually. I think we can all hope we make that kind of money at that age.
Samantha Ponder: $4.9 Million
Samantha Ponder worked her way to the top! She started as a sideline report for Thursday Night College Football, then took over College Gameday for Erin Andrews, and now she’s one of the highest-paid female sports analysts.
You can now catch her on Sunday’s NFL Countdown with a smile on her face as she rakes in an estimated $4.9 million a year.
Greg Anthony: $400,000
Greg Anthony is the first on the list to have no broadcasting experience prior to his TV debut. However, he was a former player who was known for his lock down defense, and after playing the game for 12 years he retired and began working with ABC and ESPN.
However, he got his big break when he went to CBS Sports. He was also one of the commentators in the video game NBA 2K16. His estimated salary is close to $400,000.
Suzy Kolber: $3 Million
Suzy Kolber was part of the original crew for ESPN2 during its first launch, back when it was still just an offshoot of ESPN and not really a thing. Since then, she has put herself and ESPN2 on the map! Once ESPN gained the right to Monday Night Football, Kolber was part of the broadcasting crew the first year.
She would eventually take over as the anchor of Monday Night Countdown. Her estimated salary is $3 million.
Michael Strahan: $4 Million
Yet another iconic sports analyst made his career in the NFL long before making it into the studio. Michael Strahan was known for his hard-hitting on the field, but after he retired with the single season sack record, he began his dominance of TV!
Replacing Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly, he established himself as a fun, charismatic guy who could win over a crowd instantly with his famous smile. Now he pulls in an estimated $4 for his appearances on Fox NFL Sunday and hosting Strahan and Sara.
Sage Steel: $400,000
Sage Steel began her career at CSN Mid-Atlantic in Maryland. She covered the Baltimore Ravens during her tenure there, but she soon had ESPN knocking on her door. Over the years, she’s been a guest on some of ESPN’s biggest shows, like ESPN First Take, NBA Countdown, and Mike & Mike in the Morning.
She’s since become the host of SportsCenter at 6 p.m., a big jump from her previous Mid-Atlantic position. Her new spot also comes with a nice $400,000 salary.
Charissa Thompson: $600,000
Charissa Thompson was the co-host of SportsNation on ESPN for many years until her departure for Fox Sports. She was one of the first faces with the new Fox Sports 1 during its initial launch.
She has steadily continued her career as a leader within the Fox Sports network. Thompson’s estimated salary is $700,000.
Max Kellerman: $1 Million
Max Kellerman started his career in boxing on HBO, but he soon moved beyond the combat sport and began hosting the fan-fav Around the Horn. He has since been on multiple ESPN shows as a guest and is highly regarded for his knowledge in multiple sports.
Kellerman’s salary is estimated to be around the $1 million mark.
Linda Cohn: $3 Million
Linda Cohn was brought on by ESPN in 1992 to be on SportsCenter. Unlike most of the other names on this list, Cohn has stuck by ESPN’s side from day one. With her 60th birthday just past, she has stuck with her ESPN employer through thick and thin.
Although most of us today would say this type of loyalty doesn’t pay off in the salary game, ESPN has made sure to keep her happy with an estimated $3 million a year!
Adam Schefter: $1 Million
Adam Schefter has worked as a sideline reporter, radio host, and as a network host! As part of the family of hosts for the NFL Network, Schefter was able to gain notoriety from his big personality and spot-on analysis.
After working for the network for a couple of years, ESPN swooped in in 2009 and offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. His estimated annual take home is just over $1 million.
Michelle Beadle: $5 Million
Michelle Beadle has had a fun sports career, covering everything from the big 3 (baseball, basketball, and football), to her humble beginnings of reporting on the PBR (Professional Bull Riding). After working as a freelance reporter for multiple networks, she finally landed a big-time deal with ESPN and was asked to be the co-host of SportsNation on ESPN2.
Beadle’s reported salary was $5 million in her last contract renewal.
Jimmy Johnson: $600,000
Jimmy Johnson has made the NFL his life and career. He started as a college player, then transitioned into an assistant coach at another university, until finally winning two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys as a coach.
After retiring from the game, he began his career as a sports analyst on Fox NFL Sunday with other former players. His estimated annual salary now $600,000. Not bad for a retiree.
Howie Long: $4 Million
Howie Long spent 13 years with the Raiders franchise and was nominated to the Pro Bowl eight times! He was known for his intensity on the defensive side of the ball and won Defensive Player of the Year once.
Long decided to take this intense focus and apply it to his work behind the camera. This kind of intensity must be working for Long because it’s estimated that he brings home $4 million a year.
Rachel Nichols: $1.5 Million
Rachel Nichols is now known for her two things: her fun and charismatic nature and her straight-to-the-point line of questioning. She’s worked in many different aspects of the sports analyst world—including sideline reporter and show host—but some of her most memorable moments have come from her integration of NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, during the Ray Rice domestic abuse embarrassment.
With this kind of hard-hitting reporting style combined with her charismatic charm, it’s no wonder she pulls in an estimated $1.5 million a year!
Jay Bilas: $2 Million
Jay Bilas was known first by Duke fans as part of the highest-scoring recruiting classes of all time—any Duke class of ’82 fans here? He then became an assistant coach in the ‘90s, but later transitioned to being one of ESPN’s college basketball experts. He also works as a commentator for the Duke Radio Network during the season.
He’s been nominated for multiple Emmys over the course of his casting career. Think he would trade one of those nominations for a win if it meant he had to give up his estimated $2 million salary?
Chris Berman: $5 Million
Chris Berman is one of the few on this list who has spent the majority of his career as a play-by-play commentator. His legacy can with ESPN can be traced back to the ‘70s, making him one of the longest on-air sports analysts.
Berman is best-known for his catch phrases, such as “Whooop!” and is estimated to bring home $5 million a year!
Hannah Storm: $1.5 Million
Hannah Storm has been a pioneer for women in the sports world. Her sports casting career started over the air-ways in Houston, TX by giving her analysis during rush hour for all to hear. This translated to her doing TV interviews during and after Houston Rockets and Astro games. She quickly used that to spring into a position on CNN Sports Tonight, where she covered multiple sports, including the Olympics.
After that, she became the first woman to host a sports show by herself with her coverage of the MLB on NBC. She then went to ESPN and became a long-time on-air partner of Stuart Scott. She made history again in 2018 when she and Andrea Kremer became the first Thursday Night Football game to be called by only women. This has earned her the right to get a $1.5 million in our opinion.
Skip Bayless: $6 Million
Skip Bayless has had a checkered career. Skip doesn’t pull any punches and says exactly what he thinks—even if he did cause an on-air spat!
This is the type of personality that people love to watch, and his new show with co-host Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports 1 is reported to give him an estimated $6 million a year!
Jim Rome: $30 Million
During the ‘90s there was no controversial sports commentator like Jim Rome. His voice is one of the most recognizable among all casters on TV or radio. His dry wit and unapologetic opinions have shot him—and his show—to the top of the mountain top and beyond.
Fans know that on a Rome show anything goes, and that’s something that makes him so exciting not just to watch, but to listen to as well. That’s why it’s estimated that Mr. Rome brings home $30 million a year!
Grant Hill: $2 Million
Grant Hill was a well-known NBA star before ever gracing the audience with his charm and deep insights into the game. Although some would argue that he never lived up to the hype he had coming into the NBA, no one can doubt that he’s had a great career as an NBA insider and analyst.
Hill has been both commentator during the game as well as sitting in the studio giving his insights into the game. Although I’m sure his $2 million-a-year salary isn’t what it used to be when he was playing in the NBA, I’m guessing he’s still happy with it.
Michael Wilbon: $6 Million
Michael Wilbon started his career at The Washington Post, where he would get into fun-loving debates about sports with his co-workers. He and Tony Kornheiser would take these types of antics and apply them to their show, Pardon the Interruption, one of ESPN’s longest-running programs!
Having signed recently to a multi-year extension to his contract, Wilbon is looking at bringing in $6 million annually. Not bad for water cooler convo!
Curt Menefee: $3 Million
Although Curt Menefee has the least amount of football experience compared to the rest of the crew on Fox’s NFL Sunday, that hasn’t stopped him from standing out! Using his extensive background from working with so many other sports, including UFC, baseball, and soccer, he has set himself apart on the show so much that no one would hold his lack of on-field experience against him.
He also holds and honorary doctorate from Coe College in Journalism. All of this amounts to his estimated annual salary of $3 million.
Scott Hanson: $200,000
Scott Hanson has been the face of NFL RedZone since 2009. Before that, he worked for multiple other stations, including ABC, Comcast, and NBC. However, the majority of his work has been on the RedZone—and as such, Hanson has trained himself to keep track of multiple games and be able to switch from one game to another.
This skill has earned him an estimated $200,000 annual salary.
Tony Kornheiseris: $6 Million
Tony Kornheiseris is possibly one of, if not the, oldest sports caster currently working! At 71, Tony has worked as a columnist, radio show host, and TV host.
One of ESPN’s longtime executives was once quoted as saying, “in the history of sports media, [Kornheiser] is the most multitalented person ever.” I guess that’s why it’s reported that Kornheiser’s last re-up cost ESPN $6 million a year!
Jalen Rose: $3 Million
Jalen Rose seems to have always found a way to succeed in life! He was part of the Fab Five, then became one of the Pacer’s top scorers right beside Hall of Famer Reggie Miller! Now that he’s retired from the court, he’s started his career behind the camera.
Given, he’s been a great analyst for ESPN, but he has definitely found himself at odds with some of the other sports show hosts, including Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith. Still, Rose has estimated to get a $3 million salary.
Scott Van Pelt: $4 Million
Scott Van Pelt has been one of the most recognizable faces on SportsCenter since 2001. However, he got his start on the Golf Channel. Obviously, he expanded his level of knowledge to cover many other sports since joining ESPN, but he still covers the US Open and The Masters for the network.
His die-hard fans have been with him since his early days on the Golf Channel. This fan base has helped him score an estimated $4 million annually!
Jamele Hill: $100,000
Jemele Hill began her career as a sports writer for ESPN. Slowly but surely, she worked her way up to becoming an analyst. She gained even more popularity from her podcast, “His & Her”, which became a sensation. This was just what she needed to become one of the most recognizable faces of SportsCenter.
After 12 years at ESPN, she decided to part ways and go to The Atlantic. Her estimated salary is just over $100,000.
Rece Davis: $1.5 Million
Rece Davis is best known for his spot-on ESPN’s College GameDay show, but unlike his counterparts, Davis has a very diversified commentating background. He’s worked on many other ESPN shows, including anchoring SportsCenter, and provided commentary during the FIFA World Cup broadcasts.
This type of range has gained him an estimated $1.5 million salary.
Mike Golic: $5 Million
Mike Golic is best known for his work across the radio waves in the Mike & Mike show on ESPN Radio. The show was so popular that ESPN decided to give them a TV show as well! However, after years of working together, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic decided to try other partners. Most of the fans were torn, but apparently everyone decided it was ok to still be friends with both Mikes!
Now his new show, Golic & Wingo, helps bring him in an estimated $5 million a year.
Colin Cowherd: $6 Million
Colin Cowherd was one of the original hosts of SportsNation. He has experience working both behind a camera and over the airwaves. Unfortunately, Cowherd was suspended in 2015 by ESPN for remarks he made about baseball players from the Dominican Republic.
Fox Sports 1 used this opportunity to snatch up Cowherd and his show, The Herd. It’s now one of the most tuned-into shows on the network! It’s reported that in his resigning in 2018 he negotiated a $6 million a year deal for himself!
Mike Greenberg: $6.5 Million
The other Mike from Mike and Mike, Mike Greenberg, is doing just as good as his old pal Mike Golic—maybe even a little better! Greenberg’s new show, Get Up!, seems to be doing very well since its inception in 2018.
Greenberg, unlike Golic, had been doing TV for longer than he’s done radio and worked with ESNews during the early days. Taking all of this into consideration, it makes sense that he brings $6.5 million annually, right?
Stephen A. Smith: $10 Million
Stephen A. Smith’s personality is one of the largest of this entire group. There are some who love this guy and others who can’t stand the sound of his voice. The polarization is exactly what he needed to shoot him to the top of this list though!
Smith isn’t afraid to take on the challenge of being the other side of the argument; if anything, he revels in it! Smith’s personality has helped him rise above the vast majority of all the other sports casters with an estimated $10 million salary!
The NBA Crew
This last one isn’t really a single person, but more of a group or boy band. The boys of Inside the NBA Crew on TNT have not had their annual salaries revealed, but the crew is made up of former players Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. If these guys are the mouth, heart, and stomach of the group, then the brains behind the operations must be Ernie Johnson.
Taking into consideration all the commercials that these guys do during the NCAA tournament, I’d guess they were somewhere closer to the top-earning half of this list!