Dick Ebersol

Duncan "Dick" Ebersol[1] (/ˈɛbərsɒl/; born July 28, 1947) is an American television executive and a senior adviser for NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.[2]

He had previously been the chairman of NBC Sports, producing large-scale television events such as the Olympic Games and National Football League (NFL) broadcasts.[1]

Dick Ebersol
Dick Ebersol2
Duncan Ebersol

July 28, 1947 (age 71)
OccupationAmerican television executive NBC
Spouse(s)Susan Stafford (1976–1981)
Susan Saint James (1981–present)
Children3, including Charlie Ebersol

Early life

Ebersol was born in Torrington, Connecticut, the son of Mary (née Duncan) and Charles Roberts Ebersol, a former chairman of the American Cancer Society.[3][4][5]

He and Josiah Bunting III are half-brothers.[6] In 1967, at the age of twenty, Ebersol began his long history with the Olympics when he temporarily dropped out of Yale University to join Roone Arledge and ABC Sports as television's first-ever Olympic researcher.


Move to NBC

In 1974, he joined NBC as Director of Weekend Late Night Programming. In 1975 Ebersol and Lorne Michaels conceived and developed Saturday Night Live. Named as Vice President of Late Night Programming at age 28, Ebersol became NBC's first vice president under the age of 30. After a brief departure, he returned to SNL in 1981 as executive producer and remained until 1985, spanning the Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal eras.[1][7]

In 1983, Ebersol formed No Sleep Productions, an independent production company that created Emmy Award-winning NBC shows Friday Night Videos and Later with Bob Costas.[7]

Together with Vince McMahon, Ebersol produced Saturday Night's Main Event.[1] When Ebersol left SNL in 1985, he devoted his time to his production company until rejoining NBC in 1989.[7] He served as senior vice president of NBC News.

NBC Sports

Ebersol became president of NBC Sports in 1989,[1][7][8] and was promoted to Chairman, NBC Sports & Olympics in June 1998.[7][8][9]

He served as executive producer for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, his first Olympics since Munich in 1972 for ABC.[10]

Ebersol's early tenure at NBC Sports was highlighted by a string of sports-property acquisitions and renewals, including the NFL, NBA, Notre Dame football and MLB, through the formation of the joint-venture Baseball Network.[11]

During the 1995–96 television season, for the only time in history, the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Summer Olympics were telecast by the same network. It was following this run in 1996 that The Sporting News named Ebersol the "Most Powerful Person in Sports."[11] By January 1998, NBC had become the home of four Super Bowls in six years.[12]

In 1993, he secured the rights to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.[13]

In August 1995, he acquired the rights for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It marked the first time that rights for consecutive Olympics were awarded at the same time. Later that same year, he spearheaded NBC Sports' acquisition of the exclusive media rights for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The agreements marked the first time that the same network had been awarded the rights to five consecutive Olympics.[11][14][15]

In 2003, Ebersol led NBC to acquire the exclusive U.S. media rights to the 2010 Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics.[8][16]

In December 2003, Ebersol agreed to a nine-year contract to continue running NBC Sports & Olympics through 2012.[7] He assumed the title as Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics in May 2004 when NBC and Universal merged.[17]

Ebersol produced:

  • the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 (the most-watched event in U.S. television history with a record 215 million viewers)
  • the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in 2010 (second-most watched Winter Olympics in history with 190 million viewers)
  • 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.[9][18][19][20][21]

It is currently the second-most viewed program of all time.[22] The Super Bowl milestone was made possible in 2005 when Ebersol spearheaded the effort to return the NFL to NBC by negotiating a six-year agreement that included moving the NFL primetime broadcast package from Monday night to Sunday night, flexible scheduling for the first time ever, and Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012[1][23]

On May 19, 2011, Ebersol resigned from NBC Sports. The New York Times stated that he intended to stay at NBC through the end of June 2011.[24] It was later reported that Ebersol would return to NBC Sports in time for the beginning of the 2011 NFL season to serve in a senior adviser role.[25]

Alliance of American Football

As of 2018, Ebersol serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of American Football, a professional American football league co-founded by his son Charlie and Bill Polian.[26]

Awards and honors

Ebersol has often been in the top 10 honorees on The Sporting News' annual list of the 100 most powerful sports figures, including in 1996 when he was named the Most Powerful Person in Sports.[11] In 1992, Ebersol was awarded the Olympic Order, an honor periodically bestowed by the International Olympic Committee to recognize remarkable contributions to the Olympic Movement.[27]

In 2005, Ebersol was inducted into both the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.[28][29]

In 2008, NBC won the Peabody Award for its coverage of the Beijing Opening Ceremony along with Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who served as the event's creative director.[30] At the 2009 SportsBusiness Journal awards ceremony, Ebersol won Sports Executive of the Year and NBC Sports won Best in Sports Television.[31]

On April 27, 2009, the six "Commissioners of American Sport" – Roger Goodell (NFL), David Stern (NBA), Bud Selig (MLB), Gary Bettman (NHL), Tim Finchem (PGA Tour) and Brian France (NASCAR) – were part of a presentation that concluded with Muhammad Ali awarding Ebersol the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.[9]

In May 2010, Ebersol was the commencement speaker at Sacred Heart University for its graduating class of 2010. He was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters by University President Anthony J. Cernera.[32]

Ebersol is the 2014 recipient of the Paul White Award, the highest award presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association.[33]

Personal life

Ebersol was previously married to former Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford from 1976-81. They had no children. He has been married to actress Susan Saint James since 1981.[34] They have three children together, Charlie, Willie, and Teddy, who died in a plane crash in 2004. Saint James has two children from a previous marriage.

2004 plane crash

On November 28, 2004, a private charter jet, a Bombardier Challenger, carrying Ebersol and two of his sons, Charlie and Teddy, crashed during an attempted takeoff from Montrose Regional Airport in Colorado. The jet's captain, Luis Polanco, flight attendant Warren T. Richardson III, and Teddy Ebersol were killed. Dick and his older son, Charlie, along with the first officer, survived, though seriously injured.[35] Charlie was thrown clear of the plane and rushed back inside and managed to pull his father to safety.[36]

On June 10, 2006, Teddy Ebersol Field was dedicated along the Charles River in Boston.[37]

Selected list of shows produced by Ebersol


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sellers, Patricia (April 18, 2006). "Playing with pain". CNN.com. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Executive Bios". Universal Sports. Archived from the original on December 27, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "Charles R. Ebersol; Executive, 85". The New York Times. November 5, 2001. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Diana Cunningham Will Marry in Peru". The New York Times. August 17, 1965.
  5. ^ "Mary Duncan Ebersol". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 20, 2017 – via Google.com.
  6. ^ Neyer, Constance (November 2, 2001). "Charles Ebersol, 85". Hartford Courant. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Grossman, Ben (October 23, 2005). "Dick Ebersol profile". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Abrahamson, Alan (June 8, 2003). "Ebersol's Deal Had Some Familiar Rings to It". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Reynolds, Mike (April 27, 2009). "NBC Leads Sports Emmy Pack". Multichannel.com. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "NBC Sports to Join NAB Hall of Fame". TVtechnology.com. March 31, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d "The Sporting News: Most Powerful 100", Sporting News, December 30, 1996
  12. ^ Vega, Michael (January 30, 2009). "Harrison safety valve: Super Bowl TV work". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  13. ^ Sandomir, Richard (July 29, 1993). "OLYMPICS; Sure Thing: Ebersol Guarantees Profit on NBC's Winning Olympics Bid". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  14. ^ Jenkins, Sally (January 1996). "Peacock Power--Dick Ebersol of NBC Sports has grabbed five more Olympics, in the years 2000–2008". Sports Illustrated. 83 (27).
  15. ^ Carter, Bill (December 14, 1995). "TELEVISION SPORTS; Ebersol Is the Big-Play Man at NBC". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  16. ^ Carter, Bill (August 24, 2008). "On TV, Timing Is Everything at the Olympics". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Kay, Jeremy (May 13, 2004). "NBC Universal merger is complete". Screendaily.com. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  18. ^ Reynolds, Mike (March 1, 2010). "NBC's Final Medal Count: 190 Million Olympic Viewers". Multichannel.com. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  19. ^ Keveney, Bill (August 26, 2008). "Nielsens: Olympics on NBC capture ratings gold". USA Today. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  20. ^ Toff, Benjamin; Stelter, Brian (February 3, 2009). "The Most-Viewed U.S. TV Event Ever". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  21. ^ Finn, Chad (February 12, 2010). "NBC's universal coverage will be hard to miss". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  22. ^ Kissel, Rick (February 8, 2010). "Super Bowl breaks ratings record". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  23. ^ "Scorecard: Healer Dealer", Sports Illustrated, April 27, 2005
  24. ^ Carter, Bill; Sandomir, Richard (May 19, 2011). "Dick Ebersol Resigns from NBC Sports". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  25. ^ Carter, Bill; Sandomir, Richard (August 30, 2011). "Ebersol to Rejoin NBC Sports as a Senior Adviser". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  26. ^ Barnett, Josh (20 March 2018). "Bill Polian to help form new spring pro football league". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  27. ^ Olympic Order, la84foundation.org; accessed August 20, 2017.
  28. ^ Mihoces, Gary (December 8, 2005). "Yamaguchi part of Olympic Hall class". USA Today. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  29. ^ "B&C Picks 10 for Hall of Fame", Broadcasting and Cable, July 17, 2005
  30. ^ Peabody Awards (April 1, 2009) Archived May 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine "Complete List of 2008 Peabody Award Winners" (press release)
  31. ^ Eggerton, John (May 29, 2009). "NBCU, Dick Ebersol Honored By SportsBusiness Journal". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  32. ^ "Sacred Heart University Summer Magazine, Summer 2010". Sacred Heart University. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  33. ^ "RTDNA Announces 2014 Paul White Award Winner". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  34. ^ "Dick Ebersol Biography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  35. ^ "Ebersol family discusses plane crash that killed son". USATODAY.com. Associated Press. February 2, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  36. ^ Mike Upton (December 13, 2004). "Fatal Flight". People.
  37. ^ "Dedication of Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields". RedSox.com. June 8, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2011.

External links

Alli Sports

Alli Sports (legally Alli, Alliance of Action Sports, LLC) is an organizer of extreme sports events that is subsidiary of the NBC Sports Ventures LLC, a unit of NBC Sports Group. The group was formed in 2008 as a joint venture between NBC and MTV Networks, when the latter bought a stake in an extreme sports tour that NBC had been operating, the Dew Tour. While MTV parent Viacom has since sold its share in the venture, it still operates as a part of NBC.

Alliance of American Football

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a professional American football league founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. It began play on February 9, 2019, one week after the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl LIII championship game. The AAF consists of eight centrally owned and operated teams. All teams except Salt Lake are located in cities on or south of the 35th parallel and all teams except Birmingham are located in metropolitan areas that have at least one major professional sports franchise. Of the eight teams in the league, all but Arizona and Atlanta are located in markets lacking an NFL team.

Ann Risley

Ann Risley (born September 30, 1949) is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member of the TV series Saturday Night Live for the 12 episodes of the 1980–1981 season. These 12 broadcasts were the first episodes after producer Lorne Michaels left the show. She is a member of SAG, AFTRA, Equity, and an independent actor's equity.Born Anna Risley in Madison, Wisconsin, she was spotted by Woody Allen in a theatre production of his material and encouraged her to pursue an acting career in New York. Risley was cast in small parts in Allen's films Annie Hall, Manhattan and Stardust Memories. Before joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, she had a cameo on the show in 1976 as a psychiatrist's patient.She was cast for Saturday Night Live by Jean Doumanian, who had previously been the show's guest-booker, then associate producer. After 12 episodes, Doumanian was let go and replaced by Dick Ebersol, who fired Gilbert Gottfried, Charles Rocket, and Risley from the cast before his first episode. In a 1999 article in People, Risley was quoted as saying her SNL experience was "horrible".Prior to (and after) Saturday Night Live, Risley had roles in nine feature films, including Honky Tonk Freeway and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

She appeared in starring roles in two television pilots (Off Campus and Night After Night), was a five-week guest star on the daytime soap The Doctors, and appeared in five made-for-TV movies, including The Young Riders and Telling Secrets. No longer a screen actor, Ann (who now goes by the name of Anna) continues to run her own acting/improv studio in Tucson, Arizona.

Bob Tischler

Robert Tischler is an American television writer, audio engineer and television producer. Tischler engineered the National Lampoon's first comedy album and with Michael O'Donoghue co-created and produced the National Lampoon Radio Hour. A friend of John Belushi's since the Radio Hour days, Tischler produced four Blues Brothers albums, the first of which, Briefcase Full of Blues, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and went double platinum.

Tischler joined NBC's Saturday Night Live television program when Dick Ebersol took creative control in 1981 and became head writer of SNL for four seasons, leaving the show in 1985. Tischler produced David Brenner's late-night talk show Nightlife during the 1986-'87 season and has since written for and produced a number of television series, including What's Alan Watching?, Empty Nest, Something So Right and Boy Meets World.

CNBC Awaaz

CNBC Awaaz is an Indian pay television channel, owned by CNBC and TV18 based in New Delhi.

Charlie Ebersol

Charles Duncan Ebersol, (born December 1982) is an American television and film producer and director. Ebersol is best known as the co-founder of The Company with Justin Hochberg, executive producer of USA Network's NFL Characters Unite and a co-producer of The Profit on CNBC. He is also the co-founder and CEO of the Alliance of American Football.In 2012, Ebersol was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of Reality Television's 50 Most Powerful Producers.

Christa Miller

Christa Beatrice Miller (born May 28, 1964) is an American actress who has achieved success in television comedy. Her foremost roles include Kate O'Brien on The Drew Carey Show and Jordan Sullivan on Scrubs (which was created by her husband Bill Lawrence). She has also appeared in Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and CSI: Miami. From 2009 to 2015, she starred in the TBS (formerly ABC) sitcom Cougar Town, also created by Lawrence.

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The list of Diva channels includes:

Diva (Asia TV channel)

Diva Universal (Philippines) defunct

Diva Universal (Bulgaria) defunct

Diva Universal (Italy) defunct

Diva Universal (Romania) currently

Diva Universal (Russia) defunct

Diva Adria (Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia)

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Hayu (subscription service)

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History of Saturday Night Live (1980–85)

Saturday Night Live is an American sketch comedy series created and produced by Lorne Michaels for most of the show's run. The show has aired on NBC since 1975.

After the 1979–80 season, Michaels attempted to take a break and appoint writer Al Franken his successor. However, then-president of NBC Fred Silverman passed on Franken and gave the job to associate producer Jean Doumanian, bringing in a brand new cast and mostly new writers, and resulting in the most critically unstable season in SNL's history. Doumanian was fired and replaced with Dick Ebersol, who brought in a new cast, keeping only Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. Murphy and Piscopo became breakout stars and restored the show's popularity.

During the 1983–84 season, Murphy left SNL and went on to foster a successful film career. Piscopo and several other cast members also left after the season, prompting Ebersol to rebuild the cast for the following year with already-established celebrities such as Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest. After a successful 1984–85 season, NBC denied Ebersol a more permanent retool, which led to Ebersol leaving and original producer Michaels returning for the 1985–86 season.

History of Saturday Night Live (1985–90)

Saturday Night Live is an American sketch comedy series created and produced by Lorne Michaels for most of the show's run. The show has aired on NBC since 1975.

After the success that was the 1984–85 season, then-producer Dick Ebersol attempted to orchestrate a major retool of the show that included placing an emphasis on taped material over live material, which NBC declined. Ebersol then left. The show was almost canceled until original producer Michaels was reinstated. Michaels hired a younger and "hipper" cast that was unpopular with audiences and resulted in a season widely considered abysmal, the 1985–86 season.

Learning his lesson from the previous season, Michaels fired most of the cast and assembled a cast of unknowns for the 1986–87 season that included greats such as Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz. This cast, which would remain relatively stable until the 1990–91 season, would revive the show and make it once again relevant to American culture.

Josiah Bunting III

Josiah Bunting III (born November 8, 1939) is an American educator. He has been a military officer, college president, and an author and speaker on education and Western culture. Bunting is married and has four adult children. His half-brother is Dick Ebersol, the creator and former executive producer of Saturday Night Live; Ebersol and Bunting have the same mother.

NBC Sports Group

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Ronald Meyer

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Saturday Night Live (season 31)

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Teddy Ebersol Field

Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park is a series of fields along the Charles River in the city of Boston. The Boston Red Sox foundation and the Esplanade Association in conjunction with the Hill House, an NPO, helped fund the 1.8 million-dollar renewal project. The field reopened on September 5, 2006, to the Hill House youth soccer program.

The land includes two baseball/softball diamonds, a youth baseball diamond, a T-ball diamond, or up to five youth soccer fields, or a regulation-sized soccer field in a design that accommodates a variety of other athletic and community uses. Before the renovations, the fields were uneven and often flooded.

The fields are named after a young Red Sox fan, Teddy Ebersol, who died in a plane crash on November 28, 2004, in Colorado. Teddy was the son of NBC Sports head Dick Ebersol and Kate & Allie actress Susan Saint James.

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