- Christiano Ronaldo Ejected, Crowd Throws Stuff
- Kate Upton Before She Became The Mega-Supermodel You Know And Love Today
- If You're Going To Post A Workout Video, Make Sure There Isn't A Guy Taking A Dump Visible In The Frame
- MMA In Pakistan? Watch This Awesome Documentary...
- The Most Feared Latina In Women's Football
Does Dick Ebersol’s NBC Sports Resignation Mean ESPN Will Win Olympics Rights?
In perhaps the most out-of-nowhere news in the sports world today, legendary NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol stepped down today, citing an inability to agree on a contract. The New York Times‘ Richard Sandomir reported the news earlier today. Ebersol will be replaced by Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Cable Group.
Immediately, speculation began that NBC, which has held a stranglehold on Olympics television rights under Ebersol, might lose the Games to a rival bidder (like, say, ESPN). Sure, NBC said it’ll still make a bid for the Olympics without Ebersol leading the way, but it’s reasonable to think that the absence of the driving force behind the network’s Olympics operation (not to mention the fact that NBC lost $223 million on the 2010 Winter Olympics), might lead new NBC overlords Comcast to wonder how worthwhile an endeavor the Olympics are.
Putting aside the Olympics issue for a moment, though, this marks, if not the absolute end, then an end to a major chapter in TV history. As NBC’s press release announcing Ebersol’s resignation mentions, in addition to “produc[ing] everything from the Olympics and Sunday Night Football, to the Triple Crown, NHL games and major golf and tennis events,” Ebersol also helped get Saturday Night Live off the ground back in the ’70s, so his significance in broadcasting extends beyond the sports world.
That sports world, though, is where the impact of Ebersol’s absence will be felt most strongly…especially if the Olympics do wind up changing TV homes. And speaking of that, it’s worth noting that just yesterday, SI’s Richard Deitsch shared a rather provocative take on NBC’s biggest potential Olympics competitor from none other than…Dick Ebersol:
“ESPN basically has to have one of their talent talk about Hitler or put a picture of their dick on a phone — which is what that Salisbury guy did — before they’ll do anything about any of these various crazies because they don’t have to. Nobody can touch them.”
So whatever the real reason was for Ebersol’s departure, it’s clear NBC is losing not only one of their most accomplished executives, but a strikingly candid one (for another example, here’s what he said about Conan O’Brien last year). NBC threw its full support behind Lazarus, but he’s got some of the biggest shoes in the TV business to fill. We don’t envy him.
- 8 NBA Players Who Can Actually Rap
- Mario Williams Suing Ex-Fiance For Ring
- John Morrison Talks About His Fitness Program, Life After WWE
- Tachi Palace Fights To Return In August