Dick Ebersol Returns to NBC Sports as Advisor

12:41 PM PST 08/31/2011 by THR Staff
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The network's former sports chief will lend his expertise to Olympics and NFL coverage.

Former NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol is returning to the fold in an advisory capacity. He is expected to lend his expertise to the network's 2012 London Olympics and NFL coverage.

Ebersol negotiated the deals that brought the Olympics and Sunday Night Football to NBC, and will work under a senior advisor title, reports The New York Times. He ran NBC Sports since 1989, and was replaced by Mark Lazarus, who previously ran the NBC Sports cable group.

Ebersol resigned as chairman of NBC Sports in May. He had been at the network for more than two decades and stepped down as a result of his increasing marginalization within Comcast-owned NBC Universal, whose plans for the sports media business are much different than the approach Ebersol brought to the job.

He bid $2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. The network lost $220 million on the 2010 Vancouver Games and is likely to also lose money on the 2012 Summer Games in London, which accounts for $1.2 billion of the total rights package.

A week after Ebersol's exit, his deputy Ken Schanzer announced plans to retire. He had been president of NBC Sports since 1998, and worked at the network for 30 years.

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