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Gary Zenkel

President, NBC Olympics and Operations and Strategy


Gary Zenkel was promoted to President, NBC Olympics and Business, NBC Sports Group in January 2017. As President, NBC Olympics, he works closely with the International Olympic Committee, US Olympic Committee and NBC’s distribution partners and affiliates to advance coverage, distribution and marketing, while navigating the constantly changing media landscape. In his role as President, Business, Zenkel oversees the legal, business affairs, strategy and operations functions for NBC Sports Group, as well as the rights acquisition strategy. He reports directly to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting & Sports, NBCUniversal.

Since the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast in 2011, Zenkel has led two successful NBCU acquisitions of US media rights to the Olympic Games. The first, in June 2011, awarded NBCU the rights to the Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The second agreement was negotiated in June 2014 and granted NBCU the US media rights to all Olympic and Paralympic Games through 2032, making it the longest US media-rights agreement in Olympic history. Pyeongchang 2018 was Zenkel’s 12th Olympic Games.

Zenkel has also been instrumental in major football acquisitions for NBCU, including Telemundo’s exclusive Spanish-language US media rights to the FIFA World Cup from 2015 through 2026, and NBC Sports Group’s three-season Premier League acquisition in 2013.

Zenkel served as Executive Vice President of NBC Olympics from 2001 to 2005. From 1997 to 2001, Zenkel served as Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, NBC Olympics. Previously, from 1994 to 1997, Zenkel was Vice President of NBC Sports and Executive Assistant to NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol. During that period, he played a major role in NBC’s acquisition, contract negotiations and renewals of the Olympic Games, French Open, Major League Baseball, Notre Dame Football, PGA Tour, US Golf Association championships and Ryder Cup. Zenkel joined NBC Sports in 1990 as Director of Sports Contract Negotiations. Prior to joining NBC Sports, Zenkel was a corporate associate with Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, a New York City-based law firm.

Zenkel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 and from the Georgetown University Law Centre in 1987. He was a two-year letterman on the Wolverines golf team.


The speakers

Using the unique power of sport to bring people together, the Olympism in Action Forum sees a range of global players, including Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, private and public sector leaders, NGO representatives, academics, artists and the media come together to talk on topical contemporary issues. Chosen because of their ability to effect change and their wide range of sometimes differing opinions, the speakers will lead lively debates and seek to challenge received wisdom to inspire new ways of thinking.

Meet the speakers.
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