Disney unveiled its newest star a few minutes into an upfront that included a video of Baby Yoda and an appearance from the Kardashians.
In a black suit, Pat McAfee entered the room as if he were headed to the ring to make a promo. He announced, "My show, my guys, and I will be joining the ESPN universe."
According to The New York Post, McAfee received an eight-figure contract. That was sufficient to tempt him away from a $30 million contract he had with FanDuel.
McAfee already appears on ESPN as a College GameDay analyst. According to McAfee, ESPN is spending extra money to simultaneously air his three-hour daily podcast on TV, its app, and its YouTube channel.
Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN, was "one of the only people that I talked to that truly understood what the future of sports media is going to look like," he claimed.
Critics had an outlook on ESPN's future ten years ago. Debate would be the network's defining feature. Journalism would be replaced by takes.