SBD/22/Sports Media

EBERSOL ENJOYS SOME HOLIDAY CHEER FROM PRINT MEDIA

     NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol is featured in the current
issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as the man who led NBC to the
"richest, boldest, riskiest rights acquisition" in TV history by
securing Olympic rights through 2008.  Sally Jenkins writes the
"implications for the other networks are potentially devastating
from a programming standpoint because Ebersol has now all but
cornered the market on premier sports events."  Ebersol's
"colleagues and competitors have learned that beneath the casual
attire and attitude is a thoroughly rapacious businessman," as he
has a "habit of likening negotiations to love affairs, and his
blockbuster Olympic deals owe much to the strength of his
personal charm."  As for the other networks, Jenkins writes,
"When you've been hit by a surprise attack at dawn, it's your own
fault if you haven't posted a lookout."  NBC's competitors are
having a "hard time explaining how they could have been caught
flat-footed" after NBC's Olympic deal in August (SI, 12/25
issue).
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