Dick Ebersol’s first involvement with The Olympics came when he dropped out of Yale University to become the first-ever researcher for ABC’s broadcast of the Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympic Games. That provided the opportunity to learn from the legendary Roone Arledge.
“From July of ’67 until I left in August of ’74, I had the best front seat at the best finishing school ever invented for sports television: the mind of Roone Arledge,” Ebersol said.
Indeed, learning from Arledge marked the start of a remarkable career. It included a stint heading NBC’s late-night entertainment division, working with Lorne Michaels to create Saturday Night Live. Ebersol also spent a few years running his own production company, before returning to NBC as the head of NBC Sports and later being promoted to Chairman, NBC Sports and Olympics.
Ebersol produced 19 Olympic Games and led NBC to the forefront of Olympic coverage and ratings successes, always looking for ways to improve broadcasts.