Bob Costas will be joining CNN as a contributor, the network announced Monday, where he will provide commentary on sports-related issues, including the new challenges facing the industry amid the coronavirus pandemic, after decades providing sports commentary on NBC Sports.
According to Deadline, CNN President Jeff Zucker announced in a statement Monday, "Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond. As the world continues to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that Bob’s insightful analysis will help our viewers better understand what the future holds as the sports and teams we love evolve to meet this moment." Costas added in his own statement, "CNN’s willingness to devote time and attention to sports related topics, makes it a good fit for me."
Costas became a household name during his time at NBC Sports from 1980 to 2019, where he hosted the network's Olympics coverage for decades before passing on the duties to Mike Tirico for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. Costas also hosted seven Super Bowl telecasts, seven World Series and 10 NBA finals, as well as his late-night show Later With Bob Costas, from 1988 to 1994. Costas won 28 Sports Emmys so far in his career and was appointed to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2012 and the broadcasters wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
In 2019, Costas left NBC by what he told ESPN was a mutual agreement to end his contract early following his removal from the 2018 Super Bowel coverage, which he said was predicated on his comments about brain injuries in football. At a Maryland journalism symposium in November 2017, Costas told attendees, "The reality is that this game destroys people’s brains," adding later, "if I had an athletically gifted 12- or 13-year-old son, I would not let him play football."
Soon after, Costas said he received a text from leadership: "I think the words were, ‘You’ve crossed the line,’” he said "My thought was, ‘What line have I crossed?’" Nonetheless, Costas called his exit from NBC "very fair and very amicable," and maintained his ties to the MLB Network. "It was a very, very fruitful run of nearly four decades, and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for all of it," he said at the time.