Senior Vice President, College Sports Programming and Events
Pete Derzis assumed the new role of senior vice president, college sports programming and events in March 2017. In addition to his current role of leading the ESPN Events team and its 30 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, Olympic 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 more than 30 current owned and operated ESPN events, including 16 postseason college football bowl games, 11 multiple-team college basketball events, three Labor Day Weekend college football games, an FCS opening-weekend game, two college award shows and the creation of the St. Pete Clearwater Softball Invitational in 2019. ESPN Events has nine satellite offices and accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts more than 700,000 attendees each year. Past events included a college lacrosse tournament, international soccer event, ESPN National Golf Challenge, Skins Game and Champions Skins Game.
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, Mid-American 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 was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Football Bowl Association, and in 2017, was inducted into the state of Alabama’s sports Hall of Fame as a distinguished sportsman.