Seth Winter Steps Down as Head of NBCU Sports Ad Sales

Will Remain as Advisor Through 2018

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Seth Winter, Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales, NBC Sports Group.
Seth Winter, Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales, NBC Sports Group. Credit: Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal

Seth Winter, who as head of ad sales for NBC Universal's sports group has been convincing marketers to pay premium prices for in-demand TV events such as "Sunday Night Football" and the Olympics, will be retiring at the end of the month.

After more than a decade in the role, Mr. Winter will step back in October, but will remain on as an advisor through 2018. NBCU has not yet named a successor.

NBCU hit a new record for Olympic advertising in Rio, securing $1.23 billion in national ad sales, not including local revenue or revenue from partnerships with platforms like Snapchat and BuzzFeed. In comparison, its London Olympics garnered $1 billion in national ad sales.

NBCU did come under some scrutiny during the games for disappointing ratings that led to make-goods for marketers, but disspite the hiccup, the ad industry said it was satisfied with how NBCU handeled the shortfalls.

Under Mr. Winter, NBC has been able to command hefty price tags for "Sunday Night Football," with advertisers paying an average of more than $600,00 for a 30-second spot in the 2015-16 season, according to Ad Age's annual ad pricing chart.

And this year he helped add "Thursday Night Football" to NBC's lineup of live sports.

Mr. Winter has worked at just two places: New York TV station WOR and NBCU.

"Seth embodies the things we love about sports -- from his competitiveness, to his drive, to his putting the team above everything else," Linda Yaccarino, chairman-advertising sales and client partnerships, NBCU, said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. "Seth remains one of the toughest negotiators you'll ever meet, and he's never stopped looking to create opportunities for clients who wanted to be a part of the biggest moments in sports."

Mr. Winter will remain at NBCU to guide ad sales for the 2018 World Cup, Super Bowl LII and the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

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