Costas Stepping Down As NBC Olympic Host; Tirico To Fill Role
Bob Costas is stepping down as primetime host of NBC Sports Group’s Olympic coverage, ending a record-setting run that saw him host 11 Games for the network since '92. Mike Tirico will replace Costas as the net’s full-time primetime host starting with next year’s PyeongChang Games. “This is a great way to pass the torch from one iconic figure to someone who’s on his way to becoming an iconic figure in the sports broadcasting world,” said NBC Broadcasting & Sports Chair Mark Lazarus.
The change means Costas is unlikely to travel to future Olympics, though he may produce some pieces and provide voice-overs for some stories. Costas also will stop hosting “Sunday Night Football,” which he has been doing from the stadium. He still will be part of NBC Sports Group’s Triple Crown coverage and will be used around bigger NFL events like the playoffs and Super Bowl. “He’ll have an on-going role around our big and iconic events,” Lazarus said. “But in terms of day-to-day, he’s taking a step back as he heads towards slowing down his trajectory with us.”
It did not take long for Lazarus, NBC Olympics Exec Producer Jim Bell and NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood to settle on Tirico as Costas’ replacement. NBC hired Tirico from ESPN in July. He almost immediately traveled to Rio to help host some of NBC’s coverage. “It was always something we contemplated when we hired Mike,” Lazarus said. “After getting to know him and his work a little closer, it became clear to us that he was the guy. It wasn't a difficult decision at all. We didn't wrestle with it or contemplate it very long.”