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Stephen A. Smith and Joe Buck (Getty)

Offside

The incredible salaries of your favorite sports analysts

These guys are living the dream. Not only they get to watch the most popular sporting events in the world right where the action happens, but they also get paid big time to talk about it.

Stephen A. Smith and Joe Buck (Getty)

Stephen A. Smith and Joe Buck (Getty)

Who hasn’t dreamed about making millions of dollars for talking about sports? I mean, we all do it for free, so we might as well get paid for it, am I right? However, it’s not nearly half as easy as we’d like.

Truth to be told, sports analysts have to put a lot of work, sometimes around the clock, to provide the expert’s input and entertainment we all need at home. Obviously, we may not always agree with what they have to say.

But, luckily for those guys, they get paid a lot of money for all the hard work they do. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about how much your favorite sports analysts make:

25. John McEnroe - $350,000

McEnroe won 7 Grand Slam titles (Getty)

John McEnroe is one of the most eccentric guys you’ll find on this list. He’s known for being not only one of the greatest tennis players of all time but also one of the finest trash-talkers in sports history as well.

That’s why McEnroe makes a great color commentator for ESPN. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and say what everybody else just won’t. More importantly, he doesn’t do it for the show, he does it because that’s just how he is.

24. Doris Burke - $400,000

Burke played college basketball in Providence College (Getty)

Doris Burke paved the way for many other women that came after her. Her great input and knowledge of the game of basketball have made her one of the most respected voices when it comes to discussing hoops.

Fortunately for basketball fans, ESPN recently extended her contract after two decades of hard work in the sidelines but her’s also proven to be an outstanding asset when it comes to play-by-play analysis. 

23. Kevin Harlan - $400,000

Harlan has been a part of the NBA 2K video game series since 2005 (Getty)

If you’re a basketball fan, you've probably heard Kevin Harlan’s voice more than some of your closest friends’ voices. I mean, he’s literally everywhere, from college hoops to the NBA, hell, he’s even on NBA 2K.

Harlan has often been a subject of controversy among his listeners. While some may not appreciate the way he talks about the game, his versatility and hard work granted him a spot on this list.

22. Jeff Van Gundy - $1 million

Van Gundy coached the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets (Getty)

Jeff Van Gundy knows basketball. I mean, he literally lives for it, and he’s one of the smartest analysts out there. Well, that’s pretty obvious considering he enjoyed quite a career in the sidelines as an NBA coach.

Thus, Van Gundy constantly gives us a different perspective when it comes to everything related to the NBA. He’s been sought after to resume his coaching career but he’s way more comfortable in the booth, apparently.

21. Troy Aikman - $1 million

Aikman won 3 Super Bowls (Getty)

The legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback is quite an authorized voice when talking about football, so there’s no wonder why FOX Sports turned their attention to him as one of the most beloved guys in America’s Team’s history.

Troy Aikman provides his expert insight on every single play and he’s been a part of their broadcasting crew for over a decade. He’ll even argue with Joe Buck on live television, which only makes people love him even more.

20. Terry Bradshaw - $1 million

Bradshaw was the first overall pick of the 1970 NFL Draft (Getty)

Terry Bradshaw is more known for his legendary time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he hasn’t lost the slightest passion or energy now that he’s serving as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports.

Bradshaw will always be heard. He’ll make sure about it. Obviously, that has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way but hey, he’s been getting a huge salary to do that for years. He’s an entertainer, for sure.

19. Cris Collinsworth - $1.5 million 

Collinsworth spent 7 years with the Cincinnati Bengals (Getty)

If you want to get a true input about what’s truly happening on the gridiron you need to tune in to Cris Collinsworth on NBC. He grinds like no other analyst by watching even more film that when he was actually playing in the NFL.

Collinsworth is perhaps one of the most respected broadcasters and analysts in sports. He combines his experience with a thorough analysis and great respect for the game of football. He’s must-watch television for NFL fans.

18. Rachel Nichols - $1.5 million 

Nichols joined ESPN in 2004 (Getty)

Just like Doris Burke, Rachel Nichols has made a name for herself in an industry you don’t find many women. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and became an invaluable breath of fresh air in ESPN’s The Jump.

Moreover, Nichols is a top-notch content creator and color commentator thanks to her well-prepared interviews with some of the best hoopers in the history of the game. She definitely deserves a lot of credit.

17. Jay Bilas - $2 million

Bilas played for Duke from 1982 to 1986 (Getty)

Jay Bilas is the guy to talk to when you want to hear about what’s happening in college basketball. So, if you’ve filled your March Madness bracket - and we know you have - you’ve had to tune in to Bilas more than once.

Bilas isn’t exactly beloved by those who hate Duke (half of the nation, probably) because of his past with the Blue Devils, but he’s the biggest specialist when it comes to drawing up plays and bringing a true NBA-kind of analysis to NCAA hoops.

16. Marv Albert - $2 million

Albert was also known as "the voice of the New York Knicks2 (Getty)

Marv Albert may be known as ‘The Voice of Basketball’ but don’t let that fool you. This guy can literally do it all, as he’s shown by his presence in the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup as well.

Albert is the ultimate broadcaster when it comes to letting you know exactly what’s happening on the court. He’s got a great feel for details, and even though he may not bring much analysis to the table, his versatility makes him one of the best of all time.

15. Kirk Herbstreit - $2 million

Herbstreit played quarterback at Ohio State University (Getty)

Kirk Herbstreit is another example of a former player bringing his passion to the booth. His enthusiasm for the game is quite contagious so he’s become a must for college football fans any given Saturday.

Herbstreit’s work on ABC’s Saturday night broadcast has made him a fan-favorite in no time. There’s simply no one in the nation more invested in the NCAAF in national television right now, so he’s likely going to climb the salary ladder in no time.

14. Gary Neville - $2.5 million

Neville won 20 titles with Manchester United (Getty)

The former Manchester United and England legend has changed the cleats for a headset and he’s now one of Europe’s most respected pundits not only because of his knowledge of the game but also because of how he talks about it.

Gary Neville is a great analyst but he’s also a tough guy. He will let everybody know a piece of his mind whenever, wherever. He’s turned Sky Sports’ broadcasts into top-notch entertainment for soccer fans all over the world.

13. Chris Berman - $3 million 

Berman has made cameos in more than 10 movies and commercials (Getty)

Chris Berman has been with ESPN pretty much since the dawn of the company, so perhaps you’d feel like he should be earning a lot more money, considering he’s given his entire career to the network.

‘Boomer’ Berman has done it all for ESPN, from MLB broadcasts to Sunday NFL Countdown to hosting Sports Center and calling Stanley Cup games. He’s perhaps the most charismatic guy on this list, so c’mon man, pay the guy!

12. Mike Tirico - $3 million

Tirico attended Syracuse University (Getty)

Mike Tirico sure knows a thing or two about sports. I mean, we’ve seen him and heard him hosting the Olympics for NBC and he sounds like he’s an expert on every single sport that has ever been invented.

However, he’s clearly more suited for analyzing football, as he’s shown during his decade’s long work in Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football. He's been involved in some controversies as well.

11. Jalen Rose - $3 million

Jalen Rose was NBA's Most Improved Player in 2000 (Getty)

Former Michigan and NBA standout Jalen Rose took his talents to the booth and he’s made a name for himself for one thing, and that’s keeping it real. Rose cuts to the chase and provides the input of a former player most analysts often take for granted.

Rose won’t hesitate to step on anybody’s toes. Everybody must be quiet and pay attention to his insight or he’ll snap. Also, his show Get Up! ESPN has been a massive success since it started airing in 2018.

10. Joe Buck - $5 million

Joe's dad Jack was also a sports broadcaster (Getty)

If you follow any MLB or NFL meme related accounts on social media, then you definitely know who Joe Buck is, as he’s been the main target of mockery and dissing in sports for over a decade.

However, he just doesn’t get the respect and praise he’s due. ‘Now here’s a guy’ that has been a perennial play-by-play analyst in both the World Series and the Super Bowl for twenty years. He excels at both sports and often provides thorough and non-biased analysis.

9. Jim Nantz - $5 million

Nantz started his career calling BYU football and Utah Jazz games (Getty)

Most young fans may not be fond of Jim Nantz but I’m pretty sure your old man loves him. I mean, he’s been around the NFL for almost two decades as well as covering every major golf event in the meantime.

Nantz has earned every penny of his paycheck for his charisma and hard work. It’s never easy thriving in one sport, let alone two, so that’s why CBS has kept him around for that long and likely many more years to come.

8. Dan Patrick - $5 million

Patrick was formerly known as Dan Pugh (Getty)

Dan Patrick is one of the most respected people in sports because of the impeccable trajectory he’s built. From Sports Illustrated to NBC and ESPN, he’s always brought a high-level analysis and discussion.

If you’re an athlete, you know you’ve made it when you’re on Dan Patrick’s radio show. That’s how big he is in the industry and that’s why he’s been an endless source of content for sports media since day one.

7. Charles Barkley - $5 million

Barkley was named NBA's Most Valuable Player in 1993 (Getty)

Charles Barkley is exceptionally polarizing and that’s why he’s made for television. You know he’s trying to pick your brains, you try and not get angry about his comments, but he still succeeds. The best part of it? You never turn off the TV or change the channel.

Barkley is a trash-talker. His takes are often biased and poorly backed up, as he’s more of an ‘eye-test’ kind of person than a guy that’ll look at the stat sheet. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he’ll crack you up from time to time with his comments.

6. Skip Bayless - $6 million

Bayless is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan (Getty)

If we talk about polarizing people we can’t leave Skip Bayless outside of the conversation. I mean, he’s arguably the sports’ internet community most hated guy, yet his shows are always a massive success. Why? because of his hot takes.

Bayless will always double down on whatever nonsense opinion he wakes up with. He’ll defend his stance with passion, biased stories, and even facts from time to time. He does it mostly for the show, or I choose to believe that, for sure.

5. Bob Costas - $7 million

Costas has won multiple Emmy awards (Getty)

Bob Costas is Mr. Sports. He’s done it all over his long and successful career and he’s the kind of guy even your grandma knows who he is. He’s beloved and respected, which doesn’t happen often in this industry.

Costas made a name for himself for going beyond what’s happening on the court and providing in-depth analysis and interesting information about the context of every sporting event he hosts.

4. Nick Faldo - $8 million

Faldo won six major tournaments (Getty)

Nick Faldo is one of the sports broadcasting industry wealthiest men. He’s the bad boy of golf, if you will, which is saying a lot considering there’s that other guy named Tiger Woods, you may have heard about him.

Faldo became famous - and infamous - on national television for constantly bashing Woods, even when he was the nation’s biggest star. Other than that, he provides great input on everything golf-related as a legend of the game, and that’s why he’s earned that much.

3. Stephen A. Smith - $10 million

Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University (Getty)

Stephen A. Smith isn’t human. He can’t be. I mean, if he were, when would he sleep? He’s a guy that’s literally all over the sports industry 24/7/365. He may not even have a lunch break with that many shows, interviews, and social media rants.

Stephen A has become ESPN’s main anchor over the last couple of years. His shenanigans and hilarious reactions made him an instant fan favorite but more than that, he’s a man that knows what he’s talking about and won’t hesitate to let you know about it.

2. Tony Romo - $17 million

Romo threw for 34,183 and 248 touchdowns in 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys (Getty)

Tony Romo had a career full of ups and downs, injuries, and infamous meltdowns in clutch situations. However, he’s proven to be a master at reading the game of football at the highest level.

His ability to call plays long before they happened made CBS go all-in on Romo as their main guy on the booth from now on, thus handing him a huge paycheck. To put this in context, he never made more than 8 million on his career until his final four years in the NFL.

1. Jim Rome - $30 million 

Rome was parodied in the South Park episode "Sarcastaball" (Getty)

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t believe it either, but yes, Jim Rome is making 30 million dollars per year. That’s how good he is, that’s how much he’s meant to CBS throughout the course of his career.

Rome covers every sport and can discuss them at a high level, for sure, and has had some of the most iconic interviews in recent sports history. That’s why some consider him the ‘most respected voice in the world of sports broadcasting’, although he’s had his fair share of controversies as well.

Topics:

  • Offside
  • Stephen A. Smith
  • Jim Rome
  • Tony Romo
  • Troy Aikman
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Skip Bayless
  • Jalen Rose

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