“Bob Costas is a legendary, respected voice across the spectrum of sports and beyond,” said CNN president and WarnerMedia news and sports chairman Jeff Zucker, who worked with Costas at NBC, in a statement. “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 joins CNN as live sports prepare to return after more than four months off-air due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Major League Baseball will resume play on Thursday, with the NBA set to return next week and the NFL expecting to kick off in September. The returns will be complicated, with coronavirus-related safety precautions, and political, with the NBA expecting to address social justice issues alongside its games.
Costas, a 28-time Emmy winner, served as a play-by-play announcer and studio host for NBC’s coverage of baseball, basketball, football, golf, NASCAR, horse racing, boxing and other sports, but was best known for being the primetime host for the network’s Olympics coverage, beginning with the 1988 winter games in Seoul and running through the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. Costas left NBC’s Olympics coverage in 2017, handing over primetime coverage to Mike Tirico, and left NBC altogether in 2019.
Costas also hosted a late-night talk show for NBC, Later with Bob Costas.
In addition to NBC, Costas has been a play-by-play announcer and studio host for MLB Network since 2009, and before that hosted a number of shows for HBO, including talk shows Costas Now and Inside the NFL.
Costas is the only on-air talent to win Emmys for news (for his hard-hitting and newsmaking 2011 interview with Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky), sports and entertainment (for his NBC late-night show).