Gary Zenkel was named President, NBC Olympics, and President, Operations & Strategy, NBC Sports Group, in 2011. He reports directly to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group.
Zenkel oversees all aspects of the NBC Olympics business unit. As President, Operations & Strategy, NBC Sports Group, Zenkel is responsible for overseeing the legal, business affairs, strategy and operations functions for NBC Sports Group.
Prior to being named to this role, he served as President, NBC Olympics, since 2005. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, was Zenkel’s 10th Olympics.
Since the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast in 2011, Zenkel has led two successful NBCU attempts to acquire U.S. 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 U.S. media rights to all Olympic and Paralympic Games through 2032, making it the longest U.S. media rights Olympic agreement in history.
Zenkel has also been instrumental in major soccer acquisitions for NBCU, including Telemundo’s exclusive Spanish-language U.S. media rights to FIFA World Cup® Soccer from 2015 through 2022, and NBC Sports Group’s three-season English Premier League acquisition in 2013.
He has managed NBC’s Olympics business since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, working closely with the International Olympic Committee, U.S. Olympic Committee, and NBC’s distribution partners and affiliates to advance NBC’s Olympic coverage, distribution, and marketing while navigating the constantly changing media landscape.
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, of NBC Olympics. Previously, from 1994-1997, 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 French Open, Olympics, Major League Baseball, Notre Dame Football, PGA Tour, U.S. 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 Center in 1987. He was a two-year letterman on the Wolverines golf team.