In the world of sports there are few people whose jobs are as cherished as sports commentators. They are the ones who bring the world of sports and entertainment to our television sets, radios and other devices every day, and many of them are paid exceptionally well to do their jobs. The world of sports broadcasting has truly expanded, and as a result these people are being paid more than ever before. Not only that, but some of them have become just as popular as the athletes they cover.
According to the website Simply Hired, the average sports broadcaster made an annual salary of $59,000 in 2013. That's considering commentators covering college and minor league games, all the way to big-time major league reporters. Some of todays well-known broadcasters earned their stripes the hard way, working through journalism and communications degrees and building experience until they made it to the big leagues. Others are simply retired athletes who are a shoe-in for the job because of their popular status and knowledge of the game. But regardless of where they came from or how they go there, here's a look at the ten most valuable sports commentators in the world.
10 Don Cherry - $800,000 Per Year
As an NHL commentator, Don Cherry has become one of the most notable figures not only in Canada, but in the hockey world in general. Cherry earned $800,000 for his work with CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. His Coach's Corner segment on the program has become a very popular part of the show. Cherry coached the Boston Bruins from 1974-79 after a successful career playing in the AHL.
9 Charles Barkley - $1.6 Million Per Year
While Charles Barkley earned $2.4 million in the 1992-93 NBA season as a player for the Phoenix Suns, he ended up earning $1.6 million in the 2012-13 season from his work at CBS and TNT where he covers college and professional basketball. His straightforward style has helped make him a popular figure in the world of basketball. Barkley's playing career spanned from 1984-2000.
8 Mike Tirico - $3 Million Per Year
While Mike Tirico had earned about $1 million a year in the past with ESPN, he has been earning $3 million a year as the voice of the Monday Night Football broadcasts on the network. This is thanks to the program being the most popular show on cable or satellite television throughout much of the year.
7 Chris Berman - $3 Million Per Year
Chris Berman has been associated with ESPN since it started in 1979. He earns $3 million a year and has a net worth of about $18 million. His net worth was generated thanks to his marketing power, as he has created many popular catchphrases over the years.
6 Al Michaels - $5 Million Per Year
Al Michaels has been in the business since the 1970s and is noted for calling the "Miracle on Ice" during the 1980 Winter Olympics. He has been an NFL announcer for years and is often featured in Monday and Sunday Night Football games. Michaels has a net worth of $20 million.
5 Joe Buck - $5 Million Per Year
The son of legendary St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck, Joe Buck currently covers national baseball and football broadcasts on the Fox network. He used to work for Cardinals games but has since hit the big time earning $5 million per year.
4 Jim Nantz - $5 Million Per Year
Jim Nantz's $15 million net worth comes largely from the fact that he has been repeatedly hired to cover many of CBS's most important sporting events. He covers NFL games, NCAA tournament games and many golfing events including the Masters. He has essentially become the most prominent figure to work specifically for the CBS network.
3 Dan Patrick - $5 Million Per Year
While Dan Patrick was one of the first employees at ESPN to earn $1 million thanks to his presence on the influential SportsCenter program, he had a tough split from the network and has since gotten his own nationally-syndicated radio show. He is also a host on NBC's Sunday Night Football program. His net worth is close to $25 million.
2 Bob Costas - $5.5 Million Per Year
Since he started covering the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis in the 1970s, Bob Costas has brought his brand and trademarked style to the NBC network. For years he has covered programs for NBC and has even worked with HBO. He is especially known for being a baseball expert, a part of what has helped him earn a net worth of $32 million.
1 Jim Rome - $30 Million Per Year
As the host of what may be the most popular sports radio show in the world, Jim Rome has affiliates with hundreds of stations and has his own television show on the CBS Sports Network. He has also held individual shows with Fox and ESPN in the past. Today his net worth is close to $100 million in value but his $30 million annual salary for hosting his radio show has helped him reach the top of this list.