NBC Sports has a new chairman, promoting president Pete Bevacqua to the role vacated when former chair Mark Lazarus was named chairman of NBCUniversal Television.

Bevacqua has only been with NBC Sports since 2018, but has worked as a sports executive for much longer, with most of his background in the world of golf. That served him well most recently when NBC was in position to take over Fox’s USGA deal unexpectedly, essentially getting a huge discount on some big live golf rights going forward.

From NBC’s release:

Pete Bevacqua has been promoted to Chairman, NBC Sports Group, it was announced today by Mark Lazarus, Chairman NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. Bevacqua becomes the third Chairman in the history of NBC Sports, following Lazarus, who succeeded Dick Ebersol as NBC Sports Chairman in 2011.

“In his time with NBC Sports, Pete has been exceptional working with our league and organizational partners, as well as in collaboration with other NBCUniversal leaders to strengthen our sports production and overall business in a challenging environment,” Lazarus said.

In June, Bevacqua and his team re-acquired complete U.S. media rights for all United States Golf Association championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, through 2026.

Last spring, Bevacqua was part of the NBCUniversal team which completed a pair of major agreements. In early March, he led a nine-year extension of the company’s PGA TOUR rights, ensuring NBC Sports Group will continue to present unparalleled live tournament coverage, comprehensive news and high-quality content across broadcast, cable, streaming and digital properties. In late March, the NFL announced that NBCUniversal acquired the rights to a new Sunday night Wild Card playoff game, which will be presented live across NBC, Telemundo, and Peacock in January 2021.

The next few years are obviously important for NBC Sports, as they try to navigate an odd-year Olympics, the continued fallout from Covid-19, NFL rights coming up for bid again, and the launch and growth of their Peacock streaming service, the success of which may ride on streaming sports content. Going from outside the company to the third chairman of NBC Sports in just a few years, though, is certainly a sign that Lazarus and the rest of NBC’s decision-makers have a lot of faith in Bevacqua as the right person for the job.

[NBC Sports]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.