Hall Of Famer Shannon Sharpe Says He Made More Money From One Podcast Episode Than Any Single Year In The NFL


Robert McGreevy Contributor
Font Size:

Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe claimed on a Thursday episode of his podcast, “Nightcap,” his Katt Williams podcast episode made him more money than any single year he played in the NFL.

“I made more money on Katt Williams alone than I made in any year that I played in the NFL,” Sharpe told his co-host, Chad Ochocinco.

Sharpe indicated that the money from the podcast totaled upwards of six million dollars.

“I just got the check. So whatever you think I made, three X it. So if you think I made 500,000, three X it. If you think I made a million, three X it. If you think I made two million, three X it.” (RELATED: Two-Time Super Bowl Champion QB Might Be On His Way To Save My Franchise)

Sharpe released a tell-all interview with comedian Katt Williams on his podcast Club Shay Shay in early January. The episode was a smash hit, garnering over 61 million views on YouTube alone in the two months since its release.

While Sharpe played in an NFL era that was throwing significantly less money around than the wild liquid the league is playing with today, the former Denver Bronco still made over $20 million in earnings over his 15-year NFL career, according to Spotrac.

His highest career earnings year was in 2000, when he earned $5 million thanks to a $4.5 million signing bonus from the Baltimore Ravens, per Spotrac.

Just a quick aside. An NFL tight end making $5 million in 2024 would be the league’s 41st highest paid tight end, showcasing just how far out of field the salaries in the NFL have become. Yes, much of that has to do with inflation. But a lot has to do with the beaucoup bucks NFL teams keep throwing around.

But back to Club Shay Shay. The 61 million number is so massive, it’s almost unbelievable. That’s just YouTube alone. Add in Spotify and Apple streaming numbers, and we could be talking well over 100 million views/streams of this interview. It’s no wonder the check Sharpe got was so fat.

Shannon Sharpe is a bonafide media mogul. After departing from Fox Sports’ Undisputed, a debate show he hosted with Skip Bayless, Sharpe joined Bayless’ former debate partner Stephen A. Smith to become the newest co-host of ESPN’s First Take.

But Beyond that, Sharpe has grown two massive podcast franchises in a very short time. Partly on the back of the Williams interview, but also long before that, Sharpe had built Club Shay Shay into a podcasting giant. The YouTube channel now has 2.95 million subscribers. He’s also developed his Nightcap show into a successful content machine, boasting an impressive 1.13 million YouTube subscribers for that channel. (RELATED: ‘Motherf*cker’: Two Big-Time Sports Commentators Reportedly Get Into Heated Argument)

My biggest takeaway is legacy linear media is way behind online digital media. At this point, it really feels as if sportscasters like Sharpe and Smith are simply using their platforms on ESPN to drive traffic to their social media brands. Smith has been vocal in recent weeks about his jealousy of colleague Pat McAfee, who struck a landmark deal with ESPN in May to simulcast his YouTube show on their primetime channel. That type of deal would be unheard of two years ago, where a brand as established as ESPN would have likely demanded exclusive rights to McAfee’s show to bring him aboard. But nowadays, they need him as much as he needs them, and honestly, probably more.