Former ESPN sports writer signs a multi-year deal with HBO
Bill Simmons finds a new home after being dumped by ESPN.
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The prolific sportswriter has signed a multiyear deal with HBO which will include a weekly series starting in 2016 as well as development of multiple projects and films for the its digital platforms, the cable network announced on Wednesday.
“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time. 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.” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said in a statement.
The 45-year old Bill Simmons was among the most prominent personalities associated with ESPN. He was a part of the network since 2001 and was more than a sportswriter for them. Simmons was the founding editor of popular EPSN-owned website “Grantland” and co-creator of their widely acclaimed documentary series “30 for 30”.
In May this year, ESPN decided not to renew Simmons’ contract which was going to expire in September 2015. The decision was surprising for many including Simmons himself. Nevertheless, he refrained himself from making any comment on it.
The relationship between them turned sour ever since Simmons bluntly criticized the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and called him a liar over league’s domestic violence issues. The network suspended him in September, making it clear that everyone who is engaged with ESPN is accountable to the network.
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Simmons’ stint at HBO will start in October. However, the terms of the contract has not been disclosed yet. Simmons was working with ESPN for $5 million annually.