Bob Costas says not being a part of NBC’s biggest program of the year, was a decision that was “mutually agreeable.”
“Not only do I not have a problem with it, I am actually happy about it,” he told Sports Business Daily. “I have long had ambivalent feelings about football, so at this point, it’s better to leave the hosting to those who are more enthusiastic about it.”
Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh will host the Super Bowl LII pregame show from Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 4. “The broadcast is in good hands, and they don’t have an appropriate role for me, or compelling reason to use me,” Costas said. “All involved are fine with that.”
Costas has not been shy about his criticism of the NFL. He’s also used halftime during NBC’s Sunday Night Football to advocate on other hot button issues, including gun control.
“I have been making the same points for several years, often on NBC,” Costas said in November at a panel discussion at the University of Maryland. “I have addressed the issue of football and its undeniable connection to brain trauma many times. Why? Because the evidence is overwhelming and the effects are often devastating. It’s the elephant in the stadium at every game whether others choose to acknowledge it or not.”
Costas will also not be at his usual perch for the Winter Olympics which begin just days after the Super Bowl. It was announced a year ago that Costas would hand off Olympics hosting duties to Mike Tirico. Last week NBC revealed Katie Couric would return to the network to co-host the Pyeongchang Opening Ceremony with Tirico.
When we talked to him in 2016, Costas said he was taking his Olympics hosting role “on a case-by-case basis.”
“NBC has been nice enough to let me and the public know that it’s up to me. I can stay as long as I like, as long as I can still do the job. I’ll make that decision and it will come before anybody has to push me out the door,” he said at the time.
Costas had been the prime time host of every Olympics on NBC since 1992.