Shannon Sharpe attends the 28th Annual Webby Awards
Source: Getty Images

Unpacking Shannon Sharpe's Exit from 'Undisputed': What *Really* Happened?

'Undisputed' was once one of the most-watched shows in the sports world, but things changed after Shannon Sharpe's exit — here's why he left.


Jun. 23 2024, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

In 2016, Shannon Sharpe joined forces with Skip Bayless for Fox Sports 1’s debate show, Undisputed. Shannon’s addition to Undisputed marked a significant move for the network, as it aimed to compete with other major sports talk shows.

The show became a huge hit for FS1, averaging over 200,000 viewers per episode in 2022, according to The New York Post.

Since joining Undisputed, Shannon has once again become a household name. His hilarious, and sometimes tense, conversations with Skip captivated the audience.

However, Shannon decided to leave the show in 2023, leaving fans stunned.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is officially my last day at work," Shannon said. "After seven years, the train stops with Shannon Sharpe and 'Undisputed." The athlete went on to thank the network and Skip for their support over the years, as he held back tears.

skip bayless l and shannon sharpe attends the  iava heroes gala
Source: Getty Images

Skip Bayless (L) and Shannon Sharpe attends the 2016 IAVA Heroes Gala

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Shannon’s exit from the popular FS1 series came as a surprise to longtime viewers of the show. The former NFL tight end had become an integral part of the network, as Undisputed was hitting its peak.

Shannon has since opened up about his departure from the popular debate show, revealing that Skip’s behavior contributed to his decision to leave.

Shannon Sharpe felt disrespected by his co-host, prompting his exit.

After leaving FS1, Shannon joined ESPN’s First Take. He detailed his reason for leaving Undisputed, during a conversation with co-host Stephen A. Smith.

“There were times that led up to that, that I felt shots were taken and I let it go,” Shannon said. “And I should've said something then, but I didn't. And I would bring it to people's attention, and they brushed it up under the rug. So that was my fault that it got to that point, and he felt that he could go over the top in that situation.”

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Shannon pointed to his infamous debate with Skip over Tom Brady’s accolades as the moment that changed their relationship.

“It took a lot for me to not put my hands on him, it actually did,” Shannon explained. “Why would I be jealous of Tom Brady? Tom was like me, given an opportunity. He made the most of that opportunity.”

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Following Shannon’s departure, ratings for the show have significantly declined. According to Sports Media Watch, Undisputed viewership has reached a record low of 50,000 viewers. First Take, which airs at the same time as FS1’s debate show, drew a whopping 486,000 viewers.

Shannon Sharpe’s doing better now, and his net worth is even bigger.

In addition to being the co-host of First Take, Shannon is a major player in the podcast game. Interviews from his Club Shay Shay podcast are amongst the most viewed interviews on YouTube.

His infamous interview with Katt Williams, which prompted a frenzy in the comedy world, has more than 70 million views on the video-sharing platform.

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shannon sharpe poses with his award backstage at the  iheartpodcast awards
Source: Getty Images

Shannon Sharpe poses with his award backstage at the 2024 iHeartPodcast Awards

Shannon’s time in the NFL, his success on television, and the earnings from his highly successful podcast have given way to an impressive net worth. Per Celebrity Net Worth, the athlete turned media star is worth $14 million.

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