Linet Denton

Linet Denton

Published: 02 Nov 2023


Dick Ebersol is a name that resonates in the world of entertainment and sports. As a television executive and producer, Ebersol has made significant contributions to the industry, leaving a lasting impact on both television programming and the world of sports broadcasting.

In this article, we will dive into the life and career of Dick Ebersol, uncovering surprising facts about his journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry. From his close relationship with late-night television icon, David Letterman, to his instrumental role in shaping the Olympic coverage in the United States, there’s much more to Ebersol than meets the eye.

So, let’s take a closer look at some intriguing and lesser-known details about the remarkable life of Dick Ebersol.

Table of Contents

Dick Ebersol is a legendary television executive.

Dick Ebersol is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in television history. His remarkable career has spanned decades, shaping the landscape of sports broadcasting and entertainment.

He played a crucial role in the success of Saturday Night Live.

Dick Ebersol joined NBC in 1975 and quickly became involved in the development of Saturday Night Live. He was instrumental in revitalizing the show during its early years and nurturing its growth into a cultural phenomenon.

Ebersol was responsible for the creation of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

In 1985, Dick Ebersol introduced “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” a groundbreaking television program that brought professional wrestling to the forefront of mainstream entertainment. The show became a major success and further solidified Ebersol’s reputation as a television innovator.

He was the mastermind behind NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games.

Dick Ebersol led NBC’s Olympic coverage for more than two decades, transforming the way the games were broadcasted. Under his guidance, the Olympic Games became must-watch television events, featuring in-depth storytelling, emotional moments, and record-breaking ratings.

Ebersol co-founded the XFL football league with Vince McMahon.

In 2001, Dick Ebersol partnered with WWE chairman Vince McMahon to launch the XFL, a professional football league with a unique and innovative approach to the sport. Although the XFL had a short-lived run, it left a lasting impact on the sports entertainment industry.

He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career.

Dick Ebersol’s contributions to television have been recognized by prestigious organizations and institutions. He has received multiple Emmy Awards, as well as the Olympic Order, one of the highest honors in the Olympic movement.

Ebersol has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Throughout his career, Dick Ebersol has collaborated with renowned figures in the world of entertainment and sports. From working closely with comedy legends such as John Belushi and Eddie Murphy to forging relationships with Olympic icons like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, Ebersol’s impact reaches far and wide.

He played a pivotal role in bringing the NHL back to TV.

After a five-year absence from network television, Dick Ebersol worked tirelessly to bring NHL games back to the screens of millions of hockey fans. His efforts resulted in a groundbreaking broadcasting deal between NBC and the National Hockey League.

Ebersol has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

In recognition of his significant contributions to the broadcasting industry, Dick Ebersol was honored with induction into the esteemed Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. His innovative ideas, leadership, and undeniable impact on television have left an indelible mark on the medium.

He has taken on various leadership roles throughout his career.

Dick Ebersol has served in numerous executive positions, including president of NBC Sports, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, and chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services Board. His leadership and expertise have cemented his status as a trailblazer in the industry.

Ebersol has a passion for philanthropy.

Beyond his accomplishments in the entertainment world, Dick Ebersol is known for his philanthropic work. He has been actively involved in charitable initiatives and has dedicated his time and resources to making a positive difference in various communities.

He has faced personal tragedies but persevered.

Despite experiencing heartbreaking setbacks, including a tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of his son and two others, Dick Ebersol has displayed immense strength and resilience. He has channeled his resilience into his work, continuing to make a lasting impact on the television industry.

Ebersol has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to the entertainment industry, Dick Ebersol was awarded a star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame. This prestigious honor further solidifies his status as a legendary figure in television and sports broadcasting.

He has mentored and influenced numerous individuals in the broadcasting field.

Dick Ebersol’s expertise and guidance have shaped the careers of aspiring broadcasters and industry professionals. His mentorship and willingness to share his knowledge have left an indelible mark on the next generation of television executives.

Ebersol is a member of the International Olympic Committee.

As a testament to his deep-rooted connection to the Olympic Games, Dick Ebersol became a member of the International Olympic Committee. His involvement in the global sporting community further highlights his passion for promoting excellence in athletics.

He continues to leave a lasting legacy in the world of television.

Even though Dick Ebersol has stepped back from the spotlight, his impact on the television industry remains undeniable. His innovative approach, dedication to storytelling, and commitment to pushing boundaries have forever shaped the way we experience television and sports broadcasting.


Dick Ebersol is undoubtedly a legend in the world of television and sports. His contributions to the realm of entertainment have left an indelible mark, and his unique approach to programming has revolutionized the way we consume media. From his groundbreaking work on Saturday Night Live to his successful tenure as the chairman of NBC Sports, Ebersol has consistently demonstrated his creative genius and business acumen. With a remarkable career spanning decades, it’s clear that his impact on the industry is unparalleled. The surprising facts about Dick Ebersol only add to his fascinating legacy, solidifying his status as a true trailblazer and one of the most influential figures in television history.


Q: What is Dick Ebersol most known for?

A: Dick Ebersol is most known for his work on Saturday Night Live, where he served as a producer and helped shape the iconic sketch comedy show into what it is today.

Q: How long was Dick Ebersol involved with NBC Sports?

A: Dick Ebersol had a long and successful tenure with NBC Sports, serving as the chairman for over two decades, from 1989 to 2011.

Q: Did Dick Ebersol receive any awards for his contributions to television?

A: Yes, Dick Ebersol has received numerous awards throughout his career, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the prestigious Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee.

Q: What other shows or events did Dick Ebersol produce?

A: In addition to Saturday Night Live, Dick Ebersol produced several major sporting events, including the Olympic Games, the NFL Sunday Night Football, and the Wimbledon tennis championships.

Q: Is Dick Ebersol still active in the entertainment industry?

A: While Dick Ebersol stepped down as chairman of NBC Sports in 2011, he continues to be involved in various ventures and serves as an advisor and consultant to several media companies.