Dick Ebersol Helps Discovery Nab Olympics Rights for Europe
The former head of NBC Sports and Olympics served as an unpaid adviser.
Former NBC Sports and Olympics head Dick Ebersol helped Discovery Communications with its deal for European rights to the 2018-2024 Olympics.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav, known as a friend of Ebersol's, brought the Olympics expert in as an unpaid advisor as he looked at bidding for the Olympics, sources said. Zaslav also used to work at NBCUniversal.
When the IOC last year said it would like to launch an Olympics channel, Zaslav called Ebersol, 67, who agreed to advise the Discovery team.
"They asked me to introduce them into the IOC world," Ebersol told SportsBusiness Daily. "We came to Switzerland [where the IOC has its headquarters] in October of last year."
Zaslav on Monday lauded Ebersol's help during a press call about the Olympics deal. Said the Discovery CEO: "I'd like to thank my great friend Dick Ebersol who joins us here in celebration today. I have known Dick for 25 years. He introduced me 25 years ago to the Olympics. There is no one who has had more impact on the Olympics, there is not a more visionary leader, there is not a greater storyteller in sport or in television."
Zaslav concluded that the Olympics deal and partnership "would never have been put together, it would have never happened without Dick being part of it."