John Skipper thinks Tom Brady is a ‘very expensive trophy’ for Fox with $375 million contract

"I would have said no."

Tom Brady Fox
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 whenever his playing career ends is still reverberating around the sports media landscape.

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

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

“Well, my first thought was amusement that he’s worth 12.5 million more dollars calling than he is quarterbacking a game,” Skipper said in a recent interview on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.”


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

After it was noted that other top-paid former players-turned-broadcasters — such as Troy Aikman ($18 million per year) or Tony Romo (also $18 million per year) — will make less than half of what Brady is set to make, Skipper wondered what happened in the negotiations.

“It’s peculiar,” he said. “[Fox] does seem to have been bidding against themselves because it is the only spot open, again, they’re buying a trophy. I think he’ll probably be okay on the game. It doesn’t really matter that much other than for pride and I guess he’ll shake advertisers’ hands.”

Asked if he would’ve signed the deal with Brady had he been in charge, Skipper had a direct response.

“I would have said no,” he replied.

“I don’t think that’s necessary, or a good use of $37.5 million,” added Skipper. “At about $100,000 a pop, we could have hired 370 employees for that.”

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


In response, Skipper noted that the entirety of Brady’s contract could’ve been used for more strategic purposes.

“Seriously, for $375 million, you could have bought some live event rights,” Skipper noted, “which would actually make a significant difference. [Brady] does not make significant difference other than pride and ambassadorship to put somebody in the booth for $37.5 million dollars.”


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