Sports Broadcasting Legend Bob Costas Has Departed NBC Sports

By A.J. Katz Comment

Bob Costas‘ legendary 39-year run at NBC Sports has come to an end.

“It’s all settled quietly and happily for all concerned,” the longtime face of NBC Sports told The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand.

NBC Sports confirmed this to TVNewser on Wednesday.

Costas was hired by then-NBC Sports executive producer Don Ohlmeyer in 1979 when he was just 28 years old, and is best known for his role as prime-time host of the network’s Olympics coverage, and as host of The NBA on NBC, when the network had broadcast rights to the sport from 1990 – 2002.

According to the Post, the 66-year-old Costas will continue his role as a play-by-play broadcaster on the MLB Network, where he is set to be a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame inductee announcement in the next week. He also will call play-by-play on about 20 games next season, and is reportedly exploring doing a sports/news interview-style show.

His exact payout is unknown, but when asked by the Post, Costas did say the final finances of the settlement were reconciled “more than fairly.”

According to the Post, Costas and NBC Sports have struggled to find roles at the network that he feels passionate about, and which fit into NBC’s current properties. Baseball has always been Costas’ favorite sport (one the network no longer has broadcast rights to), while his feelings for the NFL aren’t as positive as they once were.

Costas was not part of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage last year following his controversial comments about the impact of football on players’ brains. Costas remarked at the time that the decision was “mutually agreeable.”

“I have been making the same points for several years, often on NBC,” Costas said in November 2017 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.”

On the Olympics, where Costas had been the lead studio host since Barcelona 1992, he decided to pass the hosting duties to Mike Tirico, whom the network lured from ESPN in July 2016. 

Tirico has stepped into Costas’ role as the face of NBC Sports with his work on the Olympics, Kentucky Derby and NFL studio programming, including its highly rated Football Night in America program.

Tirico, a top personality at ESPN for years and most recently the play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football on ESPN before his arrival at NBC Sports, is widely considered the successor to Al Michaels in the Sunday Night Football booth.

Costas ends his broadcast career at NBC Sports having done basically everything, calling or being the main host on the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Triple Crown. He entered the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame last August.

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