Rumors have been swirling about Bill Simmons' next destination since his break-up with ESPN two months ago, and it's finally been revealed: the Sports Guy is coming to HBO. The network announced today that Simmons has signed a "exclusive multi-year, multi-platform agreement," one anchored by an as-yet-untitled talk show that's set to premiere in 2016. Simmons will also be creating features and video podcasts for the network, and he's agreed to consult with HBO Sports on the development of documentaries and series.
ESPN announced in May that it would not renew Simmons' contract when it expired in September, the end of a long relationship between the network and personality that often tended towards the tumultuous. His departure from the network was likely accelerated by comments he made on the Dan Patrick Show that were critical of the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. (The NFL is one of ESPN's biggest partners and greatest sources of traffic and revenue.) Simmons was said to have multiple suitors, but HBO has been the consensus leader in vying for his services since June.
"We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time... His intelligence, talent and insights are without precedent in the areas he covers. We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop culture landscapes," said Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming.