Bill Simmons has settled on his post-ESPN job: He'll be taking his talents to HBO.
Simmons has signed a multiyear, multiplatform agreement with HBO, which includes a weekly series launching next year, the network announced. He will begin working for HBO in October after his ESPN deal has ended.
The deal will make HBO the exclusive TV home for Simmons. In addition to his weekly series, which will cover both sports and pop culture, he will have a production deal to produce content for the network and its digital platforms, which will include video podcasts. Simmons will also be working with HBO Sports to develop shows and documentaries for the network.
In short, this will allow Simmons to replicate the empire he had created at ESPN, which included his own website (Grantland), TV appearances (NBA Countdown, The Grantland Basketball Show), a documentary series (30 for 30) and podcasts (The B.S. Report).
"We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time," said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, in a statement. "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."
Simmons hasn't appeared on ESPN or any of its properties since ESPN's president, John Skipper, announced in May that his contract would not be renewed. Simmons had clashed frequently with his bosses over the past several years.
"It's no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape," said Simmons, taking a shot at his former employer. "From the moment I started talking to Michael and Richard [Plepler, HBO's chairman and CEO], it was hard to imagine being anywhere else."
This is a huge coup for HBO, as it has landed one of the biggest names in sports journalism to help build out its digital platforms and attract more subscribers to both HBO and HBO Now.
News of HBO's serious discussions with Simmons was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter last month.