The Cable Show 2012

Gary Zenkel

President, NBC Olympics & EVP, Strategic Partnerships
NBC Sports Group

Gary Zenkel

Gary Zenkel was named President, NBC Olympics in November 2005 after serving as Executive Vice President, NBC Olympics since July 2001; he also serves as Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, NBC Sports. Zenkel oversees all aspects of the NBC Olympics business unit, including new media initiatives, strategic business alliances, marketing and promotion and technical and non-technical operations and will lead the NBC Sports Group Olympic business across all platforms while overseeing all NBC Sports Group digital business.

Zenkel played a vital role in NBCUniversal’s successful bid for all U.S. media rights to both the 2010-2012 Olympic Games and the 2014-2020 Olympic Games. He developed the concept of including an International Olympic Committee TOP sponsorship from General Electric. Zenkel also led NBC’s interests in acquiring a significant interest in Universal Sports.

Zenkel oversaw the most ambitious single media project in history for Beijing Olympic Games. NBCU’s unprecedented coverage from Beijing, with 3,600 total hours, surpassed the combined total of every Summer Olympics televised in the United States and became the most watched event in U.S. television history with a record 215 million viewers.

He also has led NBC Olympic digital effort through the years. During the Beijing Olympic Games, set records with more than 1.2 billion page views, 52 million unique users and 75.5 million video streams consumed.

Zenkel was integral in creating and partnering with NBC affiliated stations to offer extensive, localized coverage of Olympic stories about hometown athletes in its "Olympic Zone" section. The "Olympic Zone" section of is a strategic initiative of NBC and NBC affiliates designed to increase traffic and revenue for both entities. For the Torino Games, the “Olympic Zone” concept was expanded to television.

Beginning in 1997, Zenkel served as Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, NBC Olympics. Previously, Zenkel served as Vice President, NBC Sports and Executive Assistant to Dick Ebersol from 1994-97. For NBC’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Zenkel was in charge of Olympic negotiations and business development.

Zenkel joined NBC Sports in 1990 as Director of Sports Contract Negotiation and played a major role in NBC’s acquisition, contract negotiations, and/or renewal of the French Open, Olympics, Major League Baseball, Notre Dame football, PGA Tour, U.S. Golf Association championships and Ryder Cup.

Prior to joining NBC Sports, Zenkel was a corporate associate with Cahill, Gordon and Reindel, a New York City-based law firm.

Zenkel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 and from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. He was a two-year letterman on the Wolverines golf team. Zenkel lives in Larchmont, N.Y., with his wife Suzanne, son Billy and daughter Caroline.


Dispatches from Screenland: Changing Technologies and Audiences
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room 153BC East