Jump to content

Dick Ebersol resigning from NBC Sports


Recommended Posts

Dick Ebersol to Leave NBC Sports

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

Published: May 19, 2011

Dick Ebersol, who has run NBC Sports since 1989 and engineered the network’s bids to acquire the rights to more Olympics than any other, resigned on Thursday when he said he could not come to an agreement on a new contract. His decision comes several months after Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal and raises speculation that he clashed with his new corporate bosses, which he denied.

Ebersol’s departure raises immediate questions about whether Comcast will be less aggressive about acquiring the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, which will be negotiated in Lausanne, Switzerland, in June. He said that he would not attend the auction, at which ESPN and Fox are expected to be bidders, and that he intended to stay at NBC until the end of June.

Click Here to Read More

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 172
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I'm surprised this post wasn't that Ebersol was gay or not. ;)

Anyway, I read into this that Comcast is NOT giving him a blank check the way GE did. Ebersol's dominated the bidding scene long enough...and probably Comcast wants to submit a sensible bid...NOT one at all costs. Time for someone else to make fools of themselves.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised this post wasn't that Ebersol was gay or not. ;)

Gotta admit there baron.. not the best of your 27251 posts!

Anyway, I read into this that Comcast is NOT giving him a blank check the way GE did. Ebersol's dominated the bidding scene long enough...and probably Comcast wants to submit a sensible bid...NOT one at all costs. Time for someone else to make fools of themselves.

Rare as it is that we seem to agree on something, I was thinking the same thing. I think Ebersol is sending a message that he wanted to run things his way but that his bosses wouldn't let him. Of course, let's see who the fool is when the price goes way down and the next network makes millions of dollars while NBC is left with a bad taste in their mouths just like ABC was 2 decades ago. Not that I'm feeling sad for Ebersol right now, but it does tarnish his legacy a little bit that he's leaving NBC like this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This changes the dynamics of the bids I would think, and it is a sign that Comcast is not going to let NBC bid for the moon on this one. Still hope FOX doesn't win out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no way we can know for certain why Ebersole left. It may signal Comcast's bidding intentions or it may not. Fox and ESPN may assume this spells trouble for NBC and they may offer lower bids as a result. This could still allow NBC to come through with a win. Who knows? Really, we'll never know since the bids are all sealed and we're not privy to these conversations...

I hope Ebersole's departure at least drives down the price for whichever network the IOC chooses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, Athens, a lot of what happens and gets discussed here is 'speculation.' But then many people size up others they interface with by 'reading body language.' This is NO different; nor is it from understanding and deciphering 'diplomatese'; handicapping a horse race; or guessing who the Oscar winners will be. It's all just a matter of how far you want to go. You prefer to sit tight and NOT speculate. Fine. But don't limit other people's wont or ability to read 'body language" or other 'clues.' That is why many of us are here and drawn to this particular realm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speculate to your heart's content, Baron. I never said you shouldn't. Fine by me. Like I said, I think anything that drives the price down is good and it seems Ebersole's exit might help in that regard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many reactions if you look in the right places on Twitter:

alanabrahamson Alan Abrahamson

Dick Ebersol's resignation: Altogether unexpected, yet not. Profoundly unsettling. Sad. My take. 3 Wire Sports http://bit.ly/llHtMR

alanabrahamson Alan Abrahamson

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun: "No inkling" Ebersol was going to resign from NBC Sports.

alanabrahamson Alan Abrahamson

IOC president Jacques Rogge on Ebersol resignation: "A shock for me."

alanabrahamson Alan Abrahamson

Dick Pound on NBC and Olympic TV negotiations: "If they come without Ebersol, I guess they just come with a wallet."

USOlympic USOC Communications

USOC CEO Blackmun “Thru history of US Oly Mvmnt, few ppl have shown the transformative impact & unwavering passion we’ve seen frm Ebersol"

USOlympic USOC Communications

USOC Chair Larry Probst “Ebersol has been true visionary & champ of Oly Mvmnt. No one has benefited more from his achievement than Olympians

RowdyGaines Rowdy Gaines

A sad day in the Olympic Sports world.Dick Ebersol resigns as NBC Sports Chief. My 6th Games for NBC coming up in London. We'll miss ya boss

CollinsworthNBC Cris Collinsworth

Dick Ebersol devoted his life to perfecting television. Every second of the Olympic coverage was treated like a patriotic duty.

USOlympic USOC Communications

U.S. Olympic Committee statement on Dick Ebersol's resignation from NBC Universal http://bit.ly/mmvntG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Y r all these fools crying over Ebersol's exit? :blink:

He stayed too long at the fair.

Yea, the IOC must be so upset he stayed long enough to pay them $2 billion for 2 Olympics that aren't worth even close to that!

A lot of people can point out (and they are) Ebersol's flaws and mistakes in his tenure as head of NBC Sports. But the Olympics are an event that could have easily faded into obscurity in this country if they weren't handled properly. Say what you want about how NBC covers the Olympics, but I don't remember a lot of talk about CBS and what they did for the Olympic movement in the 1990s, so maybe there's something to all these people coming out in support of Ebersol. It's not like he just passed away and it's not the time to trample on a man's grave. If they wanted to trash him, now would have been the time to do so.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think that Ebersole's work has fueled Americans' Olympic appetite and I don't think anyone can question his enthusiasm for the Games. Whether or not we like all the decisions he made, the real question is whether there's anybody better. It's all fine and good to complain about what you don't like about him, but who's to say that his replacement will be an improvement? Time will tell. With no domestic Games on the horizon, the real test will be whether the soon to be anoninted/sentenced network can maintain American audiences' interest in the Olympics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever takes over for Ebersol, I don't think is going to make an agressive bid for the Sochi and Rio Games. I think his successor will focus heavily on NBC Sports largest domestic franchise: Sunday Night Football, which has been Ebersol's most recent success (TV ratings in the United States is evidence of how successful that venture has been for them). They will focus on that and let Fox, CBS and ESPN/ABC bid for the next two Olympics.

Then again, with the NFL lockout, maybe his successor will make an agressive bid for the next two Olympics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, the IOC must be so upset he stayed long enough to pay them $2 billion for 2 Olympics that aren't worth even close to that!

A lot of people can point out (and they are) Ebersol's flaws and mistakes in his tenure as head of NBC Sports. But the Olympics are an event that could have easily faded into obscurity in this country if they weren't handled properly. Say what you want about how NBC covers the Olympics, but I don't remember a lot of talk about CBS and what they did for the Olympic movement in the 1990s, so maybe there's something to all these people coming out in support of Ebersol. It's not like he just passed away and it's not the time to trample on a man's grave. If they wanted to trash him, now would have been the time to do so.

I guess I liked the way ABC handled the Games. (yeah, yeah, yeah....I know Ebersole started at ABC.) NBC focused too much on the boring athletes...giving them 'exciting' lives they didn't really have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever takes over for Ebersol, I don't think is going to make an agressive bid for the Sochi and Rio Games. I think his successor will focus heavily on NBC Sports largest domestic franchise: Sunday Night Football, which has been Ebersol's most recent success (TV ratings in the United States is evidence of how successful that venture has been for them). They will focus on that and let Fox, CBS and ESPN/ABC bid for the next two Olympics.

Then again, with the NFL lockout, maybe his successor will make an agressive bid for the next two Olympics.

I would think that the networks have probably already made their decisions by now after crunching their numbers, especially NBC. Of course, Ebersol probably wasn't happy with what Comcast wanted to bid with, and that likely played a role with his resignation, and him not even showing up in Lausanne next month. Whoever takes over, won't have much sway in the bidding process anyway, as Comcast's bid has probably already been determined.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And as even Carrion of the IOC said, they may NOT award the rights to the highest bidder...as they prize "relationships" supposedly over cold, hard cash. Yeah, right, Carrion. So, strangely, NBComcast might still win it even with NOT the highest bid.

I bet Ebersole, if he still wants to work, might become a consultant for the IOC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

His departure may not bode well for a sport like Track and Field on NBC Sports. In fact, that might be the most likely of the sports NBC has that will probably be dumped.

It would still be covered on Universal Sports.

I guess I liked the way ABC handled the Games. (yeah, yeah, yeah....I know Ebersole started at ABC.) NBC focused too much on the boring athletes...giving them 'exciting' lives they didn't really have.

The "Up Close and Personal" athlete profiles started on ABC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know...but NBC brought them to a new level of boredom for me. ;)

The mistake NBC made in 1988 was that they got away from the up close and personal stuff and tried to play more to a male, sports-loving audience. That backfired on them. Then in 1992, they went a little too far in the other direction and tried to fill their coverage so full of sap, the viewers had to blow their noses with a pancake. By 2000, I think they finally found a better balance and now with the Internet, they can full a lot more of that stuff online.

And as even Carrion of the IOC said, they may NOT award the rights to the highest bidder...as they prize "relationships" supposedly over cold, hard cash. Yeah, right, Carrion. So, strangely, NBComcast might still win it even with NOT the highest bid.

The theory I've had for a while is that if the bids are close, that the IOC will go to the 2nd and 3rd place networks and say "if you up your bid to this number, you'll win." Which is to say this won't be a one-time sealed bid process like they're advertising. Obviously if 1 network bids $2 billion and the others are $1.5 billion, no amount of "relationships" are going to make a difference. But $2 billion versus $1.9 billion just might.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever takes over for Ebersol, I don't think is going to make an agressive bid for the Sochi and Rio Games. I think his successor will focus heavily on NBC Sports largest domestic franchise: Sunday Night Football, which has been Ebersol's most recent success (TV ratings in the United States is evidence of how successful that venture has been for them). They will focus on that and let Fox, CBS and ESPN/ABC bid for the next two Olympics.

Then again, with the NFL lockout, maybe his successor will make an agressive bid for the next two Olympics.

CBS isn't putting in a serious bid, so it would take a tremendous change of course for them to be in the running.

From what I understand, when the higher-ups at Comcast and NBC heard from Ebersol, some of their first calls were to Jacques Rogge and the folks and the IOC to confirm they're still planning on making an aggressive bid. Don't assume that NBC is out of this just because they don't have their figurehead to front the presentation for them. And maybe they do focus on other properties, but those rights deals won't occur for a while. The Olympics are happening now, so there's no way to avoid it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...