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$10 Million Club: Joe Buck

Stephen Douglas
2022 ABC Disney Upfront
2022 ABC Disney Upfront / Dia Dipasupil/GettyImages
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Top-end broadcasting salaries have skyrocketed over the past few years as everyone looks to follow in the footsteps of Tony Romo. With live sports rights being some of the most valuable real estate around, broadcasting partners are suddenly willing to pay whatever it costs for the biggest names. A select few have seen their compensation rise into eight-figure territory. They are members of an exclusive group: The $10 Million Club.

Joe Buck is the new voice of Monday Night Football as ESPN stole the Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer and his longtime broadcast partner Troy Aikman from Fox with massive new contracts during the offseason. Buck and Aikman give ESPN the marquee booth they've been trying to recapture or just recreate since ABC had Al Michaels and John Madden calling games. All it took was making Buck one of the highest paid announcers ever.

Joe Buck ESPN Contract

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN gave Buck a five-year deal worth somewhere between $60 to $75 million a season. If you get out a calculator, you'll see that's between $12 to $15 million each season.

Buck's new deal with ESPN isn't necessarily his entrance into the $10 Million Club. In 2021 while discussing Jim Nantz's new deal with CBS, Marchand mentioned that Buck's salary with Fox was in the "$10.5 million-per-year range." That's not surprising considering what Buck's work schedule was like.

Why He's Paid the Big Bucks

Buck started with Fox way back in 1994 and immediately started made history as the youngest announcer to call a full slate of NFL games on network television. According to his [now defunct] Fox Sports bio, Buck became the youngest national broadcast play-by-play announcer in World Series history two years later. In total he would call six Super Bowls, 24 World Series and 26 MLB League Championship Series in more than two decades at Fox.

No wonder he was so valuable. At ESPN he'll call Monday Night Football with Troy Aikman and "produce ESPN+ projects," which could mean anything. Buck currently co-hosts a podcast called "Daddy Issues," with Oliver Hudson, so Omaha Productions might have some competition. Or a new partner.

Buck called an alternate broadcast of the PGA Championship in May for ESPN2, which was produced by Eli and Peyton Manning. Buck also appeared on the ManningCast last season so perhaps there could be some more collaboration in the future. He also showed a willingness to try anything as his last Fox appearance was on The Masked Singer.

Whatever he does at ESPN, it's unlikely he'll be bad at it and the WWL will have some tough decisions to make when Buck's contract runs out and he's still one of the best in the business and not yet 60. The $20 Million Club might be in sight when it's time for his next deal.

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