Much of the discussion around Pat McAfee this week has revolved around his regular show guest Aaron Rodgers, with McAfee saying Tuesday the speculated-about quarterback had given him no insight on what was going on, then revealing later Tuesday that Rodgers will join his Wednesday show. That’s going to be an incredibly prominent moment for McAfee, and it now comes with increased speculation about his own future.
McAfee is in the second year of a four-year, $120 million contract with FanDuel, with a lot of that being about his daily live Pat McAfee Show on YouTube. But he’s recently raised discussion of what’s ahead for him with several cryptic on-air and social media notes about a “need to keep evolving,” and the FanDuel watermark no longer appears on his show. And Andrew Marchand of The New York Post furthered that discussion Wednesday with a piece on McAfee’s future, including a report from a source that McAfee has had talks with Amazon and some Twitter direct message comments from McAfee himself:
NEWS: Pat McAfee could walk away from $120 million FanDuel deal, The Post has learned.https://t.co/LDcInhhQWA
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) March 15, 2023
Here is the Amazon discussion and those particular McAfee comments to Marchand, from that piece:
McAfee has had talks with other entities, including Amazon, according to sources.
…In a series of DMs with The Post last week, he was elusive on what is going on with FanDuel, though, he said there is no rift.
…“[There are] a lot of moving pieces right now,” McAfee, who reps himself, said during our direct messages last week. “Not exactly sure where it all ends up. No beef, all love with FD (and you.) Just trying to make my show and life easier. I’ll have a lot more info and direction late next week probably.”
This fits in with some of the cryptic comments McAfee (seen at top on his show last June) made on social media in late February about the “future” of his daily show and the “need to keep evolving”:
Man… brain’s been COOKIN
Excited to get back but I love this annual think sesh at the beach with my bride..
The future of #PMSLive has been a lot of fun to think about..
Going thru all of the numbers.. facts are facts.. We’ve really been quite a fucking disruptor in this… https://t.co/pNXe2csCVE pic.twitter.com/GoFUtwTLRc
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 22, 2023
The cut-off part there includes “What’s next though? A LOT of fun to think about. Show will always be free but we need to keep evolving.” Now, that could have been just about format changes. But McAfee’s new comments to Marchand on “a lot of moving pieces” and “not exactly sure where it all ends up” suggest more is possibly in the works, as do his recent comments on “Up to something season” (which he’s often used to announce new deals).
And Marchand’s source on Amazon talks particularly adds to that, especially with that company’s ongoing further push into sports (including daily sports talk) on Prime Video. So there could be significant change ahead on where McAfee’s show airs. But it’s also worth mentioning that Marchand says a network partnership for the show won’t necessarily end McAfee’s FanDuel deal. And a FanDuel spokesperson gave Marchand a comment of “We really value our relationship with Pat and we are always evaluating how to work to engage his audience,” and in addition to his “no beef” and “all love” comments about FanDuel above, McAfee specifically answered a question on if he was disappointed to not be in the company’s “Kick of Destiny” Super Bowl spot with “No sir.”
It should be noted that McAfee has other things going on as well. And all the talk of “evolving” and “up to something” isn’t necessarily entirely about his daily show. He signed a multi-year contract extension with WWE last summer, but his involvement there since college football season has been limited to one Royal Rumble appearance. And as for college football, he did a lot with ESPN last year (both regular College GameDay work and a series of alternate game broadcasts with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, including one for the national title game), and Marchand says he’s under a multi-year deal there. That’s all a lot, and change could come in one or both of those areas also. (He’s also dealing with a lawsuit from Brett Favre.)
It’s been quite the run for McAfee, who went from a NFL career as a punter to Barstool Sports (2017–2018) to a deal with MyBookie to the giant FanDuel deal he signed in 2021 to his more recent work with WWE and ESPN. And he’s certainly built a fanbase, and there will be lots of people interested in where he winds up, if any change does in fact happen there. So McAfee’s show Wednesday may be watched by many looking for information on his own destination, not just where Rodgers will wind up. But, with McAfee telling Marchand that he expects “more info and direction late next week probably,” the world may have to wait.
Update: Here’s how McAfee addressed this on his show Wednesday, which is largely in line with Marchand’s article, and talking about how he’s exploring network options (and also, how more places have reached out since that article):
We are exploring a lot of options right now#PMSLive pic.twitter.com/CoKDlDGkx9
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 15, 2023