Is Joe Buck the Most Overpaid Sports Announcer on TV?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Joe Buck makes an estimated annual salary of $6 million a year. While it’s difficult to verify this figure as Buck’s salary isn’t made public, it’s certainly safe to assume that the 50-year-old does make millions of dollars as Fox’s top broadcaster on NFL and MLB events.

Joe Buck calls the top game for NFL on Fox every weekend during the NFL Season with his broadcast partner Troy Aikman and has been the announcer for the World Series on Fox since 1996. With so many high-profile games under his belt, Buck has had plenty of exposure on the airwaves to sports fans over the last 25 years. A vocal portion of those fans have strong feelings about Buck; and they aren’t good ones.

People hate Joe Buck for all kinds of reasons

This fan hated Joe Buck enough to bring a sign to Game Two of the 2019 World Series
This fan hated Joe Buck enough to bring a sign to Game Two of the 2019 World Series | Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The most iconic thing about Joe Buck the sports broadcaster is his voice, and this also happens to be one of the most polarizing features about him. There isn’t much question that Buck has a great voice for television and broadcasting, but how he uses that voice tends to rub some people the wrong way.

Some fans complain that Buck’s call of the game is too monotone or boring. This is very much a preference thing; some people like when an announcer calls the game straight while others prefer that they show some emotion, especially on huge plays. Fans of the latter could find themselves bored by Joe Buck’s by-the-book style.

There are far too many criticisms that people bring against Joe Buck to list, but many of these complaints at their core stem from simply disliking him. Buck’s silky smooth voice and cadence give him an air of superiority that is in all likelihood unintentional, but it nonetheless makes the sportscaster come off as arrogant or smug to listeners. Some fans also hate that his father Jack Buck’s status as a legendary announcer helped Buck get into the industry at a far younger age than he likely would have without a famous bloodline.

Buck is a surprisingly good sport about it

Joe Buck knows that there are thousands of fans who hate him out there, especially in a social media age in which people can directly sling insults at celebrities on platforms like Twitter. Instead of responding with anger, Buck has tried to join in on the fun.

Buck’s Twitter bio states that “I love all teams EXCEPT yours,” clearly rolling with the criticism levied by some fans that he plays favorites during his broadcasts. He wrote a book self-deprecating autobiography called ‘Lucky Bastard’ in 2017. Buck has also participated in parodies, interviews with Howard Stern, and other public appearances in a light that suggests he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Like him or not, he’s one of the best in the business

It’s very difficult to gauge whether or not a broadcaster is overpaid. Fans are tuning in for the game, not for the broadcaster. Buck may bring in a marginal number of fans that are tuning in because they enjoy him or just want to live-tweet about how much they hate him, but the vast majority of sports fans are there for the event and would watch regardless of who was calling it.

Disliking Joe Buck’s announcing style is entirely reasonable. But objectively, he is one of the best broadcasters in the world. He has won the National Sports Media Association’s National Sportscaster of the Year award three times. He occasionally makes mistakes (as all human beings do, despite what the internet might have you believe), but in general, he is always well-prepared, accurate, and fair in his call.

Is Joe Buck overpaid in the context that he gets paid millions of dollars to call sports games that people would watch anyway while teachers and firefighters make a fraction of his salary? Sure. But he isn’t overpaid in the context of sports broadcasting; his salary belongs near the top of the hill because that’s where he belongs in the industry.