Bob Costas on deck for MLB Network

Will leave HBO after inking cable-exclusive deal

NEW YORK -- Emmy-winning sportscaster Bob Costas is leaving HBO and will join the MLB Network as a host and play-by-play announcer.

The move doesn't affect his work at NBC Sports, where he has been for nearly three decades. But the MLB Network said Costas has signed a cable-exclusive deal with them. That would spell the end of Costas' other side jobs in cable, which included "On the Record With Bob Costas" and hosting "Inside the NFL" when it was on HBO. He also has filled in for Larry King on CNN's "Larry King Live."

Terms of the multiyear deal weren't announced.

Costas, a huge baseball enthusiast who has written best-selling books about the game, is a big get for the network. It's easily the biggest talent announcement for the channel since it went on the air Jan. 1.

At MLB Network, Costas will host original programming as well as serve as play-by-play announcer for an unspecified number of the channel's 26 regular-season games. His first assignment is to interview Los Angeles Dodgers manager -- and former New York Yankees manager -- Joe Torre for a new show, "MLB Network Studio 42 With Bob Costas" that will air Thursdays.

Costas had been talking to the MLB Network for about six months before the announcement was made. It's been a busy six months as well, for Costas drew strong reviews for his hosting of the highly rated Beijing Olympics in August as well as his hosting of the Super Bowl coverage on Sunday.

"Bob Costas was a terrific addition when he joined HBO Sports eight years ago, providing us with a distinct and unique presence," HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said. "Television is about change, and we respect Bob's decision to move to the MLB Network. We are very proud of the work Bob did at HBO, and we wish him well in his new endeavor."