Sochi: Matt Lauer Filling in For Bob Costas on Olympics Coverage Again
The sports broadcaster's absence, due to an eye infection, continues despite hopes that Lauer's substitution would be just for one night.
Matt Lauer will be filling in for Bob Costas as the anchor of Wednesday night's primetime Olympics coverage, it was announced on Wednesday's Today.
Lauer stepped in for Costas, who's been battling an eye infection since the start of the games, Tuesday night, and Olympics executive producer Jim Bell told THR he hoped that would be a one-night occurrence.
But Wednesday morning, Costas called in to Today to announce that Lauer would continue to fill in that evening.
"You're coming out of the bullpen again tonight," Costas said, using the baseball metaphors they peppered yesterday's announcement with.
"Actually, I don't feel that bad," Costas said of his condition, "and the irony of it is, we've all felt worse than I feel right now and gone into work. ... I've done lots of ball games and events feeling much less than my best, but in this case it's just involuntary. It's an eye infection, and my eyes are so blurry and watery and become so light-sensitive that even in dim light they're constantly tearing up."
Costas' infection began in his left eye and had spread to his right eye by Monday night. The studio lights and makeup were likely exacerbating his condition, and he admitted Tuesday that the infection is interfering with his vision.
"I can't possibly be in the studio, so it's not a case of just saying, 'What the heck, I'll go in not feeling well,'" Costas added, suggesting that the lights were making things worse.
Lauer joked that he took extra precautions ahead of his Tuesday night gig.
"I had to go in early, not to practice my lines, but to Lysol your whole dressing room,'' the Today host said.
Tuesday night was the first time since 1988 that NBC's primetime Olympics coverage was anchored by anyone other than Costas. But the sports broadcaster is planning to make it up to Lauer.
"In return for this, I promise to step in on the next 10 'Steals and Deals' and 'Ambush Makeovers,''' Costas joked, referring to two of Today's recurring segments.
Watch Wednesday's announcement here.