If Dancing with the Stars, a crazy guy with a peephole, and ESPN share something in common – it’s Erin Andrews (EA). The longstanding relationship between her and the leader in sports, ESPN, may be coming to a close – this July, according to multiple sources. Currently, her camp, agent Babette Perry of IMG, is in negotiations with the network. While EA has noted in an interview with GQ Magazine of her interest in pursuing the sidelines of pro sports, college sports looks to be where she will remain, for now.
What I find most fascinating is the fact that sports fans actually care. ESPN has the most to lose – not the actual game of college basketball or football. As a network, ESPN has very few sideline reporters that have both beauty and brains – and knowing your stuff isn’t easy. Considering the demographic of much of the programming of the network, losing her could disappoint many (men) and possibly cost the network some viewers.
If EA does pull the plug on ESPN, it would take an entire team to figure out her next move. According to my sources and analysis, there are two possibilities other than ESPN.
- With either FOX, CBS, or NBC – on NFL sidelines.
- Transplant to Hollywood, with a similar role as with sports – possibly with Entertainment Tonight or a similar program.
As usual, money will be one of the deciding factors. If ESPN expects to keep her around – expect EA to get a pay day, to a large extent, an in-house promotion.
The challenge for her agent will be to structure the deal — providing the maximum payoff, but also in terms that allow her to partake in the NCAA Basketball Tournament – a desire she has expressed candidly. Jay Bilas has a similar arrangement between ESPN and CBS.
Concurrently, EA has also shown an interest in pursuing opportunities with the NFL, which may not be too far down the road.
For now ESPN’s parent company, ABC – with Dancing with the Stars, will toast her success with a gala of dance and cheer – a possible farewell tour for EA and her six year relationship with the network.