Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Sports and Olympics has signed a nine-year contract extension that will keep him in his current post through 2012, when he’ll turn 65.
During that nine-year period, the network is scheduled to air five more Olympic games, the rights to which were acquired in unprecedented multi-Olympic packages engineered by Ebersol. Under the new deal, he’ll continue to report to NBC chairman Bob Wright.
Ebersol, 56, has spent most of his career at NBC, starting in 1974 as director of late night television. He hired Lorne Michaels in 1975 and together they developed Saturday Night Live. Ebersol was named president of NBC Sports in 1989. He was elevated to his current post in June of 1998.
In a statement, Wright credited Ebersol with building the Olympics into "the most valuable franchise in television." He said Ebersol’s "guidance over the years has been invaluable to me personally and to every division of the company, and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience and leadership."
Commenting on the new deal, Ebersol said, "After all these years in the business, the only reason I am still doing this, one of the main reasons I wake up in the morning, is a passion for the Olympics."