In this edition of "Meet the NBC All Stars," we focus on a broadcaster who has been charged with handling goliath duties for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
This Olympics will be Bob Costas' eighth for NBC Sports and his seventh as primetime host. After serving as late night host in 1988 from Seoul, Costas has won acclaim and Emmy Awards each year for his work as primetime host from Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City, and Athens. Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network's sports announcers, joined NBC in 1980. He has handled a wide array of assignments, including play-by-play, studio hosting and reporting.
The 19-time Emmy Award winner is one of the most respected and honored broadcasters of his generation. In 2005, Costas was named host of NBC's "Football Night in America," an exclusive and complete look at each Sunday in the NFL. "Football Night in America" encompasses more than four hours of NFL coverage, including a primetime pre-game show and the premier primetime game of the week "NBC's Sunday Night NFL Football." Costas also co-hosts NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open, The Players Championship, Ryder Cup, Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
Costas first worked on NBC's coverage of Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. From 1982-89, Costas teamed with analyst Tony Kubek on MLB "Game-of-the-Week" telecasts, forming one of baseball's most popular broadcast teams. During that time, he served as the play-by-play commentator for "Game of the Week" assignments and coverage of the American League Championship Series in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989. He also hosted All-Star Game pre-game shows in those same years and World Series pre-games in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988.
Under the umbrella of The Baseball Network, Costas handled play-by-play chores for the 1994 All-Star Game and called 1995 Division Series and ALCS games on NBC. That year, he also called his first World Series on television, teaming with analysts Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker on Games 2, 3 and 6. The trio of Costas, Uecker and Morgan again joined in 1997 for NBC's exclusive coverage of the World Series, marking Costas' first start-to-finish coverage of the Fall Classic. The 1998 ALCS, 1999 NLCS, 1999 World Series and 2000 ALCS showcased the duo of Costas and Morgan. Costas and Morgan also called the 2000 Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Atlanta.
From 1984-92, Costas hosted NBC's NFL pre-game show, "NFL on NBC." In 1996, he returned to the NFL pre-game, contributing commentaries and interviews. He also hosted the pre-game shows for Super Bowls XX, XXIII and XXVII. From 1990-91 through the 1995-96 NBA season, Costas served as the host of "NBA Showtime," NBC Sports' pro basketball pre-game show. In November 1997, he moved from the studio to courtside to work as NBC's top play-by-play man for "NBA on NBC" game telecasts. Costas' call of Michael Jordan's game-winning shot at the buzzer in the deciding Game Six of the 1998 NBA Finals between Chicago and Utah was one of sportscasting's most memorable calls of the modern era. After three seasons as the lead NBA on NBC play-by-play voice - the last two and a half with acclaimed analyst Doug Collins - Costas volunteered to hand the NBA mike back over to the NBA's signature voice, Marv Albert, for the 2000-01 season.
Costas also originated the popular "Costas Coast-to-Coast" nationally syndicated Sunday night sports radio talk show, and served as a regular host of the program through mid-1996. From August 1988 through January 1994, he hosted his own Emmy Award-winning late-night interview television show, "Later with Bob Costas," on NBC. In 1994, Costas expanded his broadcasting duties at NBC. He contributed segments to a variety of NBC News programs, including the primetime newsmagazine, "Dateline." On occasion he still provides special interviews for NBC News'"Today."
Costas began his broadcasting career in 1974 at WSYR-TV and Radio in Syracuse, N.Y. He later joined KMOX Radio in St. Louis, working as play-by-play voice of the ABA Spirits of St. Louis. He also called play-by-play for one season of Chicago Bulls road-game telecasts. He then went on to handle regional NFL and NBA assignments for CBS Sports while acting as the radio voice of University of Missouri basketball from 1976 to 1981.
In April 2000, Costas' book, "Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball" made The New York Times Best Seller list. Net proceeds from the book were donated to B.A.T - Baseball Assistance Team, which provides financial assistance to those members of the baseball family in need. Costas has won Emmy Awards as "Outstanding Sports Personality/Host" in 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. He won his first Emmy for play-by-play work on his call of the 1997 World Series; and won Emmys for writing in 1988 and 1995. The latter award was for his moving tribute to the late Mickey Mantle on "NBC Nightly News." In addition to his 17 Sports Emmy Awards, Costas' interview program "Later with Bob Costas" won the 1993 Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series.
Costas has been honored as "Sportscaster of the Year" by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association a record eight times. He won first in 1985, when at 33 years-old he became the youngest person to win the award. He added awards in 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997 and 2000. In March 2000, Costas was named "Favorite Sportscaster" at the TV Guide Awards, based on balloting by readers of TV Guide magazine.
One of television's most gifted interviewers, Costas won acclaim as host of HBO's "On The Record," a weekly show on which Costas interviewed luminaries from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics. He recently began hosting "CostasNOW," on HBO, a monthly one-hour sports magazine program. Costas also hosted HBO's "Inside the NFL" from 2002-08. In 2005, he also signed on with CNN as a substitute for Larry King on "Larry King Live."
Costa's combination of wit and intelligence have made him a popular guest on the talk show circuit from his memorable play-by-play call of elevator races on "Late Night with David Letterman" to his current appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
Costas attended Syracuse University.
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