NBC Sports will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the NAB Show Television Luncheon. Accepting this honor on behalf of NBC Sports is Emmy Award winner Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. The Luncheon, sponsored by VCI solutions, will be held on Monday, April 12, in Las Vegas.
“From the Olympics to its coverage of the NFL, The Kentucky Derby and Wimbledon among other sports franchises, NBC Sports has always been a pioneer in storytelling and a leader in ‘must-see’ over-the-air broadcast programming,” said Marcellus Alexander, NAB Executive Vice President of Television. “We’re thrilled to have Dick Ebersol, one of the true giants of broadcasting, on hand to accept this prestigious honor.”
NBC Sports broadcasts a number of impressive sports properties, including the Olympics, the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Notre Dame football, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the PGA TOUR, the United States Golf Association (USGA) Championships, Wimbledon and the French Open.
Under Ebersol’s leadership, NBC Sports has become synonymous with superior production that elevates the event, broad promotion and mutually-beneficial partnerships. He has produced eight of the top 10 most-watched television events in U.S. history and recently produced three milestone television events: the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 became the most-watched event in U.S. television history with a record 215 million viewers; the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in 2010 were the second-most watched Winter Olympics in history with 190 million viewers, trailing only the Lillehammer Games in 1994; and Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009 produced, at the time, the largest-single audience in U.S. television history with a record 152 million viewers. It is currently the second-most viewed program of all time.
Over more than three decades in television, Ebersol stands alone as an executive who has played a prominent role in the wide-ranging fields of sports, entertainment and news by possessing the rare combination of a producer’s creative vision, a CEO’s business acumen and a partner’s genuine desire for cooperation.
Ebersol’s crowning achievement has been establishing NBC Universal as the home of the Olympic Games. Beginning in 1967, when he temporarily dropped out of Yale University to join Roone Arledge and ABC Sports as television’s first-ever Olympic researcher, his passion has been the Olympics. In 1989, Ebersol returned to NBC as president of NBC Sports. He served as executive producer for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, his first Olympics since Munich in 1972 for ABC, and then began an unprecedented run of Olympic rights agreements that established NBC as “America’s Olympic Network.”
Ebersol’s career is unique, in part, because of its diversity. In addition to his sports prowess, Ebersol, along with Lorne Michaels, whom he hired, conceived and created “Saturday Night Live.” As an independent producer, he created iconic, Emmy Award-winning programs such as “Friday Night Videos” and “Later with Bob Costas.” Ebersol even served as senior vice president of NBC News.
Previous NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame television inductees include Bob Newhart, Bob Barker, NBC’s” Meet the Press,” Regis Philbin, “The Tonight Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” Ted Koppel, “M*A*S*H,” “60 Minutes,” “The Today Show” and “Star Trek,” among others.