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Tom Brady is a “very expensive trophy” for Fox


“I would have said no.”

Tom Brady after winning Super Bowl LV. AP Photo/Steve Luciano, File

The recent report that Tom Brady will join Fox Sports on a 10-year deal worth $375 million to be a broadcaster at the end of his playing career is still reverberating across the sports media landscape.

In one important case, a former president of ESPN sees it as a waste.

John Skipper, who ran ESPN from 2012 to 2017 (and is currently the CEO of Meadowlark Media), was struck by a realization after seeing Fox’s announcement.

“Well, my first thought was fun that he’s worth $12.5 million more to call than he’s a one-game quarterback,” Skipper said in a recent interview on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz”.

“There’s very little economic value,” Skipper said. “It’s a very, very, very expensive trophy.”

After noting that other former players-turned-highest-paid broadcasters — such as Troy Aikman ($18 million a year) or Tony Romo (also $18 million a year) — will earn less than half of what Brady should win, Skipper wondered what happened in the negotiations.

“It’s special,” he said. “[Fox] seems to have bid against himself because it’s the only open spot, again they’re buying a trophy. I think he’ll probably be okay with the game. It doesn’t really matter other than pride and I guess he’ll shake hands with the announcers.

When asked if he would have signed the deal with Brady had he been in charge, Skipper had a straight answer.

“I would have said no,” he replied.

“I don’t think it’s necessary, or a good use of $37.5 million,” Skipper added. “At around $100,000 per person, we could have hired 370 employees for this.”

David Samson, a former baseball executive (and co-host of the show), reminded Skipper that despite his skepticism about paying such a large sum to Brady, “it’s the deal.”

In response, Skipper noted that Brady’s entire contract could have been used for more strategic purposes.

“Seriously, for $375 million you could have bought live event rights,” Skipper noted, “which would actually make a significant difference. [Brady] doesn’t make a meaningful difference other than pride and the role of ambassador to put someone in the pit for $37.5 million.


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