Former President of NBC Sports
Ken Schanzer served as president of NBC Sports from June 1998 until his retirement in September 2011. He also served as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for supervising the day-to-day operation of the division. Mr. Schanzer began his career at NBC Sports in 1981 as Vice President, Talent and Program Negotiations and was appointed as Executive Vice President in 1983. In 1993, he served as the President and CEO of The Baseball Network, a joint venture among Major League Baseball, ABC and NBC. The Baseball Network oversaw the marketing, television sales and television production for the joint venture partners. Mr. Schanzer then returned to NBC Sports as Executive Vice President in 1995. Before joining NBC Sports, he served eight months as Senior Vice President, government relations for the National Association of Broadcasters.
Mr. Schanzer played a key role in negotiating NBC’s six-year agreement with the National Football League to become the network home of the premier primetime television package, “Sunday Night Football,” beginning in 2006, which included innovative flexible scheduling.
He was also responsible for NBC’s landmark agreement for exclusive network telecast rights of the University of Notre Dame’s home football games. That agreement began in 1991, has been renewed four times, and currently runs through 2015. He played an integral role in NBC Sports’ acquisition of other major sports properties, including the Olympics, NFL, NASCAR, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the French Open, and The Players Championship. Through Mr. Schanzer’s leadership, NBC’s associations with the USGA, PGA Tour, Wimbledon and French Open were all recently extended.
The revenue sharing partnership with the National Hockey League – announced in May 2004 – is one example of the major role Mr. Schanzer has played in breaking new ground in the business of network television sports, and in particular, the execution of NBC’s strategy of financially sound sports rights agreements.
Mr. Schanzer is a graduate of Colgate University and earned his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School.