NBC Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol was seen taking a tour of Golf Channel’s headquarters last week, according to Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand.
Why is that important? It seems to signal that once Comcast (which owns Golf Channel) completes its acquisition of NBC, that Ebersol will be the one leading the new company’s sports division, which would include NBC Sports, Golf, and Versus.
Ourand also writes about a somewhat surprising development: the regional sports networks will probably not fall under Ebersol’s jurisdiction:
It appears unlikely that Comcast’s regional sports networks would be grouped with the national sports networks. Rather, sources say, Comcast seems to be leaning toward grouping the RSNs with NBC’s owned-and-operated stations.
That is a surprising decision, but one that will liklely make the NBC local stations much happier.
Ebersol, a tall figure in the sports business, has long been believed to be the favorite for the slot, but NBC and Comcast executives have been reluctant to discuss any personnel decisions beyond NBC Universal Chairman Jeff Zucker, who they both say will remain as CEO once the deal is completed.
Part of that reluctance is legal. Until the deal is approved by the federal government, the company cannot technically make any major staffing decisions. Comcast and NBCU may have decided what their senior leadership structure will look like, but will probably keep it under wraps until regulators approve it.