NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol to Leave

Dick Ebersol
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Dick Ebersol

Dick Ebersol, the head of NBC Sports for the last 22 years, has resigned from the network on Thursday after he could not come to terms on a new contract.

Ebersol was tapped to lead the NBC Sports Group through its transition with Comcast , which recently agreed to pay $1.9 billion for 10 years of NHL rights on its Versus channel.

While Ebersol has accomplished plenty is his career, he will be most remembered for his association with the Olympics. He was responsible for negotiating every Olympics on NBC from 1996 through 2012.

That's why Ebersol was seen as an essential piece in the TV negotiations for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, which will take place June 6-7 in Switzerland.

Under his watch, NBC Sports has broadcast NBA, NFL, Notre Dame Football, MLB and NHL games. Ebersol even took a shot at an alternative football league with the WWE, the XFL, which lasted only one season.

Ebersol will be replaced by Mark Lazarus, who was president of NBC Sports Group. CNBC has learned that Comcast's CEO and Chairman Brian Roberts will join the NBC Sports Group for the Olympic rights negotiations.

In a news release Steve Burke said: “Dick Ebersol is an incredible talent whose contributions to the company over the last four decades in sports, news and entertainment are unsurpassed. Dick has masterfully produced everything from the Olympics and Sunday Night Football, to the Triple Crown, NHL games and major golf and tennis events. In the entertainment world, he helped create Saturday Night Live, one of the most significant programs in television. We will miss his intellect, experience, and passion for the television business."

In that same release Dick Ebersol said, “What I have enjoyed most is working so closely with so many truly outstanding and incredibly talented people over decades of producing some of the greatest events in the world. Those relationships are what I cherish most. I have always said this business is about relationships and I have been fortunate enough to have more deep and meaningful friendships than any man could imagine.

“It has been a sincere privilege to tell so many remarkable stories that have inspired me throughout my entire career. Some of my favorite memories come from reading letters and talking to viewers who also have been moved by such powerful stories.

I simply want to say thank you to all of those people who have touched me so deeply throughout my career.”

Ebersol's impact doesn't just resonate in the sports world. In 1975, he helped create Saturday Night Live with Lorne Michaels.

Ebersol's departure was first reported by the New York Times.

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