Bob Costas is a stalwart of sports broadcasting. He’s spent nearly 40 years with NBC, broadcasting everything from basketball to football to baseball, and acting as the host for over 20 years worth of Olympic coverage. But his time with NBC may be coming to an end. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, NBC and Costas are discussing his exit from the network.
Costas, 66, is in the middle of a contract with NBC that goes through 2021. These reported discussions would end that contract early and allow Costas to pursue other projects. He’s currently exclusive to NBC, though his work with MLB Network is excepted in that deal. Costas has been with NBC since 1979.
Despite Costas’ long tenure with the Peacock Network, his desire to move on isn’t a huge surprise. He’s been receding from the NBC spotlight for a few years now. In 2017, he announced that he would no longer be the primetime host for the Olympics, a position he held since 1988. He also gave up his duties on “Football Night in America,” though that move made sense in light of Costas’ criticism of football’s CTE issues. Both roles went to Mike Tirico.
Since stepping back from those two hosting gigs, Costas hasn’t been seen on NBC very much. His role at NBC now is an emeritus role, similar to the one that journalist Tom Brokaw has at the network. Rumors of a buyout make it seem like Costas isn’t fulfilled by that position, and his exclusivity to NBC constrains him from pursuing other projects.
Costas wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports when he spoke to Marchand, but he did say that the split isn’t acrimonious, and that it has more to do with his interests than anything else.
“Sometimes you get to a point where it is not a fit anymore,” Costas said. “It doesn’t mean that anyone is angry or upset.”
What could be next for Costas? According to Marchand, he’s interested in something a little more nitty-gritty than studio hosting: A “journalism show that would feature interviews, commentaries and a critical look at the world of sports and perhaps other topics.”
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