Bill Simmons has been with HBO for a couple of years, producing content for the platform after leaving ESPN. He had his own weekly talk show for a little while, but it was cancelled. Simmons has since been focusing on documentaries - like the one he did on Andre The Giant - and other forms of original content.
Simmons was rumored to be making millions of dollars a year on his HBO contract, which was coming to an end this month. There was some speculation regarding his future with the network.
HBO and Simmons have apparently come to an agreement.
Simmons' agent revealed this morning that he has signed a multi-year agreement with HBO.
"HBO and Simmons have signed a multi-year renewal. Release says he’ll continue producing content across HBO," sports media insider Richard Deitsch tweeted.
The Hollywood Reporter has more details:
“I’m thrilled to keep going with the HBO family and can’t wait to get started on a couple of the more ambitious projects we’ve hatched,” said Simmons, effusive in his praise as he continued: “I witnessed it firsthand with our Andre doc — when you create something unique for HBO, they’ve built so much trust and equity in their audience over the years that it’s always going to be seen. Every single time. If it’s good and it’s on HBO, it will stand out. Even though we have more entertainment choices than ever right now, HBO still cuts through in an incredibly precise, almost unassailable way — and they work better with creatives than anyone, period. I am lucky to work with them and I know it.”
Simmons’ new deal comes as HBO looks to up its output under new AT&T ownership. In a widely covered town hall meeting with the staff, WarnerMedia’s new chief, John Stankey, a longtime AT&T executive, stressed the significance of adding considerably more content across the portfolio, noting: “I want more hours of engagement.” Still, the new deal is not as broad-sweeping as Simmons’ original, which included a talk show, Any Given Wednesday. The weekly show launched in June 2016 and was pulled in November of the same year. During its run, Simmons had a wide range of guests come through, including a memorable turn from Ben Affleck, as well Jimmy Kimmel, Larry Wilmore and soccer star Abby Wambach. The episodes reportedly averaged only 200,000 viewers for their premiere showings, roughly a fifth of fellow HBO host Bill Maher's regular haul.
You can view the full release here.