MLB Network today announced that Bob Costas has joined its roster of on-air talent, effective immediately. As part of a multi-year deal, MLB Network will be the exclusive cable home for Costas, who will host special original programming with an emphasis on the game’s history and its most significant figures and topics, and serve as the lead play by play commentator for a select number of MLB Network’s slate of 26 live regular season games. Costas, fresh off hosting NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII coverage, will maintain all his current duties at NBC, including his role as host of their Olympic and NFL coverage.
Costas today will interview Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Joe Torre for a new one hour program titled, MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas that is scheduled to air in its entirety on Thursday, February 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET, immediately following live coverage of the Caribbean World Series. MLB Network launched on January 1 in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history.
“In addition to being one of the preeminent sports broadcasters of his generation, Bob also cares very deeply about the game of baseball,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We’re glad to reunite him with the game he loves most and look forward to the exciting television he and MLB Network will create together in the years to come.”
“I’m especially enthused about the type of programming we’ll be able to create at MLB Network, a mix of historical pieces, documentary-style programming, interviews and play-by-play -- all the things I most enjoy, and it’s all baseball,” said Costas.
“Bob showed us all on January 1 how his presence can truly elevate a broadcast, and we plan to tap into his unique abilities and perspective to build more high-caliber programming in the future,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “In addition to the studio show, we’re also looking forward to Bob’s return to the broadcast booth, where he’s been part of so many memorable moments in baseball over the years.”
Costas played a major role in the debut of MLB Network on January 1 by hosting a special interview with Don Larsen and Yogi Berra which was interspersed throughout the airing of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, which appeared on television for the first time since its original broadcast.
Costas has been honored as Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association a record eight times. He also won the Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Studio Host” every year from 2002-2006, and has won 19 Emmy’s over a 30-year career. His previous baseball work includes NBC’s Saturday Game of the Week during the 1980’s with Tony Kubek and NBC’s All-Star, Playoff, and World Series coverage from 1994 through 2000. In 2000, Costas wrote the critically acclaimed best selling book Fair Ball: A Fan’s Case for Baseball.
A 29-year veteran of NBC Sports, Costas has hosted eight Olympics including the recent Summer Games in Beijing, and has been prominently involved over the years in numerous World Series, Super Bowl and NBA Finals broadcasts on the network. He is the host of NBC’s Sunday evening NFL program, “Football Night in America,” as well as hosting special events such as the Kentucky Derby and U.S. Open Golf Championships.
From 2001 through 2008, Costas had a prominent role at HBO Sports, where he hosted “Inside the NFL” and his own highly respected programs, “On The Record With Bob Costas,” later renamed “Costas Now.”
Costas joins MLB Network’s growing roster of on-air talent, including studio hosts Matt Vasgersian, Victor Rojas and Greg Amsinger, studio analysts Sean Casey, Barry Larkin, Al Leiter, Joe Magrane, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams, reporters Trenni Kusnierek and Hazel Mae, and baseball insiders Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci.
MLB Network and Costas have scheduled a 5pm ET media conference call. Look for an update on this story then.
(Read the Bob Costas interview with The Biz of Baseball)
Source: MLB Network