Sports analysts are a big part of what makes us love the game so much. From Charles Barkley to Bob Costas, their rapid commentary and lovable personalities have secured them the big bucks. Here's a closer look...
30. Rosalyn Gold-Onwude: $78,200
A former athlete herself, Rosalyn Gold Onwude graduated from Stanford, where she played college ball. Eventually, this led her to play for the Nigerian National team before she began working as a sports analyst.
Following graduation, Gold-Onwude worked for Tesla Motors before working with TNT and PAC-12 Network. The former basketball star is currently working as an analyst for the NBA on ESPN Radio, earning a salary of around $78,200, according to Gameday News.
29. Cassidy Hubbarth: $200,000
Host and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth got her start in the biz after graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism. Hubbarth went on to report for the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports South before she joined the ESPN team in 2010.
She worked on ESPN3 broadcasts before becoming a full-time anchor for the network in 2013. The Northwestern graduate hosted various ESPN television shows, such as First Take, Numbers Never Lie, and Highlight Express, and is currently a host and reporter on ESPN NBA, earning a salary of $200,000 annually per Celebrity Net Worth.
28. Lisa Salters: $235,000
Salters has been in the game for years and years. Dating back to her own athletic days as a collegiate basketball player, Salters decided to go into a career in broadcasting after graduating, which landed her a gig at ESPN in 2000, earning her the big bucks.
Per Gameday News, her $235,000 annual salary contributes to her lengthy career, and her recent multi-year contract extension on ESPN as a key sports reporter reflects that. However, before she was reporting for ESPN, Salters covered the O.J. Simpson case back in the '90s.
27. Kevin Harlan: $400,000
This television and radio announcer has marked his legacy with his distinct and extremely recognizable speaking voice. Harlan's voice became a fixture in Monday Night Football on CBS when he joined the broadcast company in 1998, eventually earning his a salary of $400,000 per Gameday News.
Harlan broadcasted a record of 12 consecutive Super Bowls, which checks out, considering he has the ultimate voice for it! The two-time National Sportscaster of the Year winner is reporting NFL and college basketball games on CBS and the NBA for TNT.
26. Molly Qerim: $500,000
According to Gameday News, Qerim earns roughly half a million dollars working for ESPN. The television personality and host has been around the sports block, hosting NFL Fantasy Live, NFL AM, reporting on the Super Bowl and the NBA Draft, before moving to ESPN.
Molly Qerim took over as moderator for ESPN's First Take in 2015 after holding the position as interim host for a few months. Since then, the Emmy-award-winning anchor has hosted the popular show, and it has become one of the highest-rated sports talk shows on television.
25. Andrea Kremer: $500,000
Celebrity New Worth puts Andrea Kremer at a net worth of around $4 million, scoring her a spot as one of the nation's highest-paid sports analysts. The 63-year-old sports journalist has done it all, even banking multiple Emmy Awards for her NFL Film special, Autumn Ritual. And it's earned her about $500,000 a year.
Kremer made history as ESPN's first female correspondent in 1989, and since then has worked on multiple segments from Sunday NFL Countdown to SportsCenter and more. Alongside Hannah Storm, she is now calling Thursday Night Football games for Amazon Prime Video, becoming the first all-women booth to call a major men's team sport.
24. Holly Rowe: $800,000
Rowe has been in the game since 1998 and is recognized as one of ESPN's most loyal and beloved telecasters. During her time as a reporter, Rowe has covered everything from regular-season games to play-by-play broadcasting and post-season bowl games.
Although her expertise lies in college football, Rowe often covers men's and women's college basketball, the Running of the Bulls, and track and field. She is currently a full-time college football sideline reporter for ESPN, where her yearly salary is around $800,000, per Gameday News.
23. Rachel Nichols: $1.5 Million
Nichols has just about done it all: She has covered everything from Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, college sports, and the Olympics. However, she is mainly known for working with the National Basketball Association.
According to Sports Illustrated, Nichols is "the country's most impactful and prominent female sports journalist," which could explain her $1.5 million salary. The prominent sportscaster had major careers at both ESPN and CNN but is currently working for Showtime Sports to contribute to their basketball coverage.
22. Lindsay Czarniak: $2 Million
Getting her start in the biz as one of ESPN's top reporters, Czarniak worked for the network for a few years in 2011 as a SportsCenter anchor before deciding to change networks. Lindsay joined Fox Sports 1 news, where according to Celebrity Net Worth, she's cashing in $2 million.
She got her start with Fox Sports 1 by hosting NASCAR events for the prevalent network - but is no rookie when it comes to other sports. Lindsay has experience with the NFL and even covered the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as host and sports deck reporter for NBC Sports.
21. Pam Oliver: $2 Million
Since the mid-80s, Oliver has been involved in the broadcasting field. And in 1991 she began her career as a sports anchor before landing a gig over at ESPN in '93. However, just two years later, she began reporting alongside John Madden at Fox Sports.
A decade later, Oliver joined TNT as a sideline reporter for the NBA playoffs and worked for the network until 2009. Pam continues to report as Fox's sideline sports reporter, where she is making around $2 million per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
20. Erin Andrews: $2 Million
Andrews is not just a sports newscaster - she also has a major career as a television personality and an actress. She might have risen to fame as a correspondent for ESPN in 2004, but in 2010, she competed in ABC's Dancing with the Stars and eventually co-hosted the show for five years.
In 2004, Andrews joined ESPN as a sports reporter for National Hocket Night and went on to report for Big Ten college basketball games, MLB sideline reporting, and a whole lot more! Andrews signed on to join Fox Sports in 2012, where she's making $2 million per year, according to Gameday News.
19. Suzy Kolber: $3 Million
According to Gameday News, our next anchor is earning an estimated $3 million per year, and well, we definitely know why she's raking in the millions! Kolber has been in the biz for over two decades as a prominent sports analyst and even assisted in launching ESPN 2 off the ground in 1993.
However, she wasn't always reporting for ESPN, with a brief stint at Fox Sports back in the 90s. But since 1999, Kolber has remained at ESPN as a total legend. She is currently a sideline reporter for the NFL, as well as a co-producer and sportscaster for ESPN.
18. Kenny Smith: $4 Million
A former NBA star himself, Smith is now on the other side of the court, this time as a popular sports commentator. Kenny, "The Jet" Smith, played for the league during the '80s and '90s, taking home two back-to-back championships with the Houston Rockets. And in '98, he joined Turner Sports as a studio analyst for the NBA.
In addition to working as an analyst during the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, Smith rocks his seat as a commentator for Inside the NBA on TNT, where he is earning a salary of $4 million, per Gameday News. So make sure to catch him alongside fellow former NBA baller, Shaquille O'Neal!
17. Michelle Beadle: $5 Million
Known for her time on ESPN as the co-host of the morning show Get Up! alongside Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg, Beadle worked for the network for ten years before ending her contract in 2019. However, during her prime days with the network, she was making a cool $5 million per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
During her time with ESPN, the famous sports reporter had multiple gigs with the broadcasting agency, from co-hosting SportsNation to co-hosting Winners Bracket and more. However, Beadle left the network permanently in 2019 during her time on NBA Countdown and is now a part of the San Antonio Spurs broadcast team.
16. Colin Cowherd: $6 Million
Since he joined the network in 2015, Colin Cowherd has basically become the face of Fox Sports 1. And it's remained that way ever since. Cowherd spent over a decade with ESPN, hosting programs from SportsNation to his own program, Colin's New Football Show, before changing stations. But his salary seemed to just skyrocket!
According to Gameday News, he pocketed an estimated $6 million per year working for Fox Sports. He also hosted The Herd with Colin Cowherd for five seasons, in addition to co-hosting the daily sports talk show Speak for Yourself with Cowherd & Whitlock. Eventually, he began his own podcast, The Colin Cowherd Podcast.
15. Michael Wilbon: $6 Million
Before joining the world of television, Michael Wilbon was working for The Washington Post, covering everything from college sports to the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Wilbon joined ESPN in 2001, co-hosting the forum, Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser, but still worked for The Post during that time.
Wilbon was one of the top sports columnists at The Post - which also explains why he was broadcasting for ESPN while writing and earning a salary of $6 million per year, according to Gameday News. However, in 2010 he officially stepped back from The Post and solely reported for ESPN and ABC's NBA Countdown.
14. Tony Kornheiser: $6 Million
Speaking of Wilbon, naturally, next comes Tony Kornheiser. The two famously worked together for nearly a decade on ESPN, co-hosting Pardon the Interruption, a fan-favorite show discussing the world's news regarding all things athletics - which could explain his $6 million annual salary, per Gameday News.
Kornheiser also was a top writer for The Washington Post, who went on to work for ESPN, and has hosted his own program, The Tony Kornheiser Show, since 1992. Although the show has gone through many changes throughout the years, it is standing strong as a podcast available on Apple.
13. Mike Greenberg: $6.5 Million
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mike Greenberg takes home $6.5 million per year working for ESPN, which for a while made him the highest-paid personality on the network. However, he lost his high status in 2019 when Stephen A. Smith signed an $8 to $10 million contract at the time.
Nonetheless, Greenberg is still raking up millions as an analyst for ESPN -especially with his long-lasting gig, Mike & Mike with Mike Golic, which ended in 2017. However, he is still recognized as one of ESPN's MVP's hosting Get Up!, SportsCenter, and more throughout the years.
12. Bob Costas: $7 Million
For someone who has been in the game as long as Bob Costas, it only makes sense he's made this list. According to Gameday News, Costas earns around $7 million annually, as he is currently working for Turner Sports, where he does studio work and play-by-play work for the MLB.
The 70-year-old millionaire sportscaster spent the majority of his career working for NBC Sports, earning 28 Emmy awards and becoming one of the most recognized sports reporters in history! He's spent his career covering NBC's NFL coverage, NBA coverage, and leading play-by-play coverage for the NBA, MLB, and more!
11. Skip Bayless: $8 Million
Skip has been in the game for decades, and though he may be known for his rather hot takes, Bayless is still raking in the big bucks! According to 103.3 The Goat, the once sports columnist turned TV reporter is earning approximately $8 million annually!
The millionaire sportscaster joined ESPN full-time in 2004, and in 2007, First Take was born. Bayless hosted the popular segment until 2016, and at that time ended his contract with ESPN and moved over to Fox Sports, where he began hosting Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Shannon Sharpe.
10. Charles Barkley: $10 Million
Another pro baller turned sports analyst, Charles Barkley, earns an estimated $10 million per year, according to Sporting News. But Barkley just signed a 10-year contract with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, which could see him walk home with anywhere from $100-200 million, according to The New York Post.
Nicknamed "Sir Charles," the former professional basketball player is one of television's most loved personalities and sports analysts. Since 2000, Barkley has been a part of the TNT family covering basketball, as he is a part of the crew on Inside the NBA, alongside Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson Jr., and Shaq.
9. Mike Tirico: $10 Million
If someone has done it all, it's Mike Tirico. The popular sportscaster worked for ESPN for 25 years, partaking in multiple roles for the network, until landing the gig as the play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Football. However, in 2016 Tirico left ESPN to join NBC Sports.
Upon joining NBC, Tirico has hosted Notre Dame Football, Triple Crown races, the Stanley Cup, and even the Olympics - which could explain his $10 million salary per Bleacher Report. After replacing Al Michaels this year, Tirico can now be seen as the play-by-play announcer on ESPN's Sunday Night Football.
8. Jim Nantz: $10.5 Million
Nantz has been true to CBS Sports since he joined the network back in the 80s. Recognized as one of the most wealthy sports newscasters in the nation, he earns around $10.5 million annually, per The New York Post. Today, he continues to dominate the field as the lead play-by-play announcer for the NFL on CBS.
Although he is currently The NFL on CBS's top play-by-play announcer, he spent over a decade covering the NCAA Final Four men's basketball finals and has anchored CBS' coverage of the Master's Tournament since 1989. He even called the play-by-play of the Super Bowl XLI.
7. Stephen A. Smith: $12 Million
Currently holding the title as the highest-paid ESPN personality, Stephen Smith earns $12 million annually as a commenter on ESPN's First Take, according to The New York Post. Being in the game as long as he has, the 55-year-old has become a prevalent TV personality for all sports watchers.
Smith is currently co-hosting ESPN's First Take alongside Molly Qerim, who also scored a spot on this list but can frequently be seen as an NBA analyst on SportsCenter. The 55-year-old sports analyst also made his millions as an NBA analyst on NBA Countdown and from hosting his own show, The Stephen A. Smith Show.
6. Joe Buck: $15 Million
Recognized as one of the nation's top sportscasters, Buck is best known for his time covering both the NFL and MLB for Fox Sports. Until this year, he spent his entire career working for Fox Sports as the lead play-by-play announcer for the network's NFL and MLB coverage, earning that sweet $15 mil salary per The Washington Post.
However, this year, Buck moved over to ESPN to take the role of the lead play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football. Despite the network shift, Buck is one of the nation's most legendary analysts, which could contribute to his overall estimated net worth of $35 million per Celebrity Net Worth,
5. Al Michaels: $15 Million
According to Bleacher Report, Al Michaels is currently earning a whopping $15 million per year as a top sportscaster after signing a three-year deal with Amazon. Michaels has worked in the industry since '71, which could explain that high salary. Today, he serves as the play-by-play announcer for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.
However, before he inked his latest contract, Michaels was an NBC Sports legend. He worked with the network for almost three decades, mainly covering Sunday Night Football. However, he briefly shifted over to ABC for a few years, covering Monday Night Football.
4. Michael Strahan: $17 Million
A common theme we're seeing is pro athletes turned sports analysts following the end of their careers, and the case is no different with former football player Michael Strahan. Strahan played for the New York Giants for 15 years before retiring and becoming a major media personality.
He served as a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday before joining Live! with Kelly and Michael with Kelly Rippa for a few years. However, in 2016 he left one day-time job for another and became a part of the Good Morning America family full-time, where he remains as co-host, earning him that 17 million salary, per several sources.
3. Troy Aikman: $18 Million
Another athlete turned sports commentator, Troy Aikman is currently commentating for ESPN's Monday Night Football. Aikman played for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons, where he became the team's longest-tenured quarterback and won three Super Bowl titles in the 90s.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Aikman currently earns a salary of $18 million annually from all his responsibilities as a reporter. Once recognized as one of the greatest football players of his time, Aikman has helped comment on multiple Super Bowls and currently hosts a weekly sports radio show, amongst other reporting duties.
2. Tony Romo: $18 Million
Tony Romo played in the NFL for 14 years for the Dallas Cowboys before retirement hit and became one of the wealthiest sports analysts to date. Romo is earning $18 million yearly, according to several sources, after extending his contract for ten years two years ago.
He was hired by CBS Sports as the lead color analyst for the network's NFL telecast while working alongside Jim Nantz as co-play-by-play announcer. According to The New Yorker, Romo has even received the greatest compliment as a "genius of football commentary" as he renewed his contract with CBS through at least this year.
1. Jim Rome: $30 Million
So folks - looks like Jim Rome is taking home the number one spot for the highest salary as a sports analyst. And well, we can see why. As one of the top most influential radio hosts in the country, according to Talkers Magazine, Rome earns an estimated $30 million per Gameday News.
Before hosting his talk show, The Jim Rome Show, on CBS Sports Radio, the sports radio host hosted an ESPN hit show, Jim Rome Is Burning, amongst other segments on the network. However, in 2011 he ended his time at ESPN to join CBS, where he literally became the face of CBS Sports news. Impressive, huh?