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April 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Dick Ebersol

NBC Sports and Olympics chief Dick Ebersol is locking horns with Comcast, NBC’s new owners, over the network’s bid for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, the New York Post reported today (Tuesday). The newspaper quoted one source as saying, “This is a big test of what Dick’s role is.” Under previous owner GE, Ebersol had been able to argue in favor of outbidding rivals even if that meant that NBC lost money on the Olympics telecasts — which it inevitably did. His reasoning is that the Olympics offered the network a huge opportunity to promote its fall season, enhance its prestige, and curry favor with advertisers. The Post also noted that Ebersol and Comcast may be at odds over the timing of this year’s events. Previously, Ebersol had packaged the top events into primetime via tape delay, even when doing so meant that they aired hours after they actually occurred (and when results were already posted on the Internet), something that has infuriated some fans. The Post suggested that Steve Burke, the new NBC Universal CEO, prefers that the Olympics events be aired live. It quoted a source as saying, “Dick is pushing back on Comcast’s vision versus his own traditional experience.” Most of Comcast’s cable customers have DVRs that they can use if they wish to watch Olympics contests during primetime.