Senior Vice President, College Sports Programming and Events
Pete Derzis assumed the new role of senior vice president, college sports in March 2017. In addition to his current role of leading the ESPN Events team and its 35 owned and operated events in ESPN’s Charlotte, N.C., offices, Derzis adds college sports programming, including oversight of college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, NCAA Championships, school-sponsored sports and rights acquisitions.
Derzis is one of the senior executives in charge of the day-to-day operations in Charlotte, which is home to ESPN Events, ESPNU and SEC Network.
He was instrumental in the creation and acquisition of 35 current owned and operated ESPN events, including four early-season college football games, 17 bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a softball event and two college award shows. ESPN Events accounts for approximately 400 hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year.
Named senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Regional Television (ERT) in November 2005, Derzis joined ESPN in 1994 after the company acquired Creative Sports, for which he served as vice president. In 1997, ESPN combined its OCC division and Creative Sports to form ERT, the nation’s largest syndicator of college sports programming, with Derzis continuing his role as vice president overseeing programming and acquisitions.
Derzis directed ERT into the top syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences including the BIG EAST, Big 12, Big Ten, Mid-American, Mountain West and WAC, as well as the SEC. ERT annually produced more than 1,200 telecasts of sporting events, including programming of football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming.
Before working for ERT and Creative Sports, Derzis was the associate athletic director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from 1977-1990. While at UAB, Derzis managed various areas of the athletic department, including all sports administration, broadcasting and fundraising, as well as game day management.
Derzis earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama in 1975. He has served multiple terms on the Executive Committee of the Football Bowl Association. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Distinguished American Sportsman Award, presented by the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.