NBCUniversal named Rick Cordella as the new president of NBC Sports.
Cordella is a 17-year veteran of NBCUniversal, and was part of the team that founded the Peacock streaming service. He will presumably be taking that experience in digital and bringing it to the sports division, which includes everything from Olympic coverage to the Golf Channel, NBC Sports Digital, and NBC’s regional sports network strategy. He will continue to oversee sports on Peacock.
His appointment comes at a time when NBC has brought more sports programming to Peacock, part of a broader trend as live games starting to play a bigger role in streaming services. Peacock isn’t the only one investing in sports, Max earlier this week unveiled its sports add-on package, which is free through February, while YouTube TV and Amazon are offering NFL games, and Paramount+ touts its access to soccer games.
Cordella will report to NBCUniversal Media Group Chairman Mark Lazarus.
“Rick has been at the epicenter of NBC Sports for years with a proven track record of growth and innovation across platforms, particularly our flagship NBC network as well as Peacock, where he helped architect our leadership role in sports and streaming,” Lazarus said. “Rick will oversee the evolution of our business as we continue to offer the best experiences and content to our viewers, as well as be the best partner to leagues and rights holders.”
The broadcasting rights to sports programming has only gotten more expensive, especially with Big Tech players like Google (Sunday Ticket), Amazon (Thursday Night Football) and Apple (MLS and MLB) jumping in, so Cordella will be tasked with navigating those challenges.
Cordella isn’t a stranger to NBC Sports, having previously served as executive vice president and general manager of digital media for the unit.
Prior to this promotion, Cordella served as Chief Commercial Officer of Peacock.