For anyone who's familiar with the behind the scenes elements of sports programming on television, this is fairly monumental news. Ebersol is a giant of American television. His fingerprints are all over the broadcast history of not only the Olympics over the last 25 years, but also many of the biggest sports events on the annual calendar. NBC has a habit of holding on to the broadcast rights of major sports events for a LONG time. These include The Triple Crown races, Wimbledon (30+ yrs), The French Open (28 yrs), The US Open (golf), etc. It's no secret that the other networks would love to have their hands on any one of these events and also on Ebersol.
Since Comcast allowed such a major player to get away, one has to wonder how strong their commitment is to maintaining the broad sports presence NBC currently enjoys. After all, the only reason they bought NBC, was because GE and Universal were saddled with mounting losses and were looking to reduce their liabilities. One has to assume that Comcast wants to trim budgets wherever possible in order to protect its investment as it rebuilds. It will be interesting to see how this affects NBC/Universal Sports' commitment to broadcasting skating.