Sports Media

Pat McAfee vows ESPN will not affect show despite fan concern

The Pat McAfee Show ESPN

(Kirby Lee/ USA Today Sport)

Pat McAfee ESPN Fans
(Kirby Lee/ USA Today Sport)

Pat McAfee vows ESPN will not affect show despite fan concern

Pat McAfee changed the landscape of sports media after agreeing to a broadcast deal with ESPN, which will air “The Pat McAfee Show” on its networks. Following the announcement, fans voiced their concern about the possibility of ESPN censoring or changing the final product.

In an interview on SI Media With Jimmy Traina, McAfee voiced that he was surprised over the number of fans that were concerned over the change.

“So I didn’t expect it to be as big of a drawback as it was,” McAfee said. “I knew that there would be some people, because there’s probably new fans of the show and new viewers of the show who hadn’t been through these types of situations before with our program, but it was big. You’re right.

“There were a lot of people that were excited about what this means for the future of things. A lot of people were like, ’Next step, next evolution of the show, this is cool,’ but I did not expect the amount of people that were negative about it before even knowing what it was.”

Quote via New York Post

As long as “The Pat McAfee Show” airs on ESPN there are reasons to be concerned. The reason the show is popular is because of the interesting, unique and creative product McAfee and his crew have manufactured. As Dana White previously explained to McAfee, when executives are given too much control they can destroy a creative product. That will be a concern for McAfee.

Currently, the show airs on YouTube, giving McAfee complete creative control. With ESPN, that may not be the case. It is nearly impossible to tell how, or if, the show will change before it finally airs on ESPN. Still, McAfee is reassuring fans the show will remain the show that they know and love.

Our show stinks. We know that. We understand that,” McAfee said. “But there’s a lot of people that are incredibly cool and incredibly passionate, and they hang out with us every single afternoon, so I think any change I make, I had to learn through trials and errors, that there’s gonna people that are upset with it because they’re scared they’re gonna lose the thing that they get to hang out with and I am honored that that is how they view our show.

But my big takeaway after this decision is a lot of our people have been with us for a long time and a lot of the decisions I’ve made, we’ve been through this a couple of different times where it’s like, ‘Hey, the show is gonna remain the show, though, and I would like a little bit more faith in the fact that we understand who we are, we understand what we are and we wouldn’t want to change it for anybody because that would be bad business and it would be bad because we can’t make a better show. We’re a bunch of doofuses that do what we do, and it just so happens to work.”

Quote via New York Post

In the past, McAfee has bounced around companies and networks. At one point, McAfee walked away from SiriusXM and Barstool Sports — the show thrived through those changes.

Only time will tell if McAfee is correct. Hopefully, for the sake of the show and his fans, ESPN allows McAfee to be McAfee. If that is the case, all will be well at the end of the day. Thankfully, it seems like McAfee is aware of that fact.


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