Even if you think you don’t, you know Bob Costas’ voice. The NBC staple has done voiceover for sports on the network for four decades. He has been the lead announcer for network talk shows, Super Bowls, the Olympics, and the World Series. You’ve heard his announcements on some of the most exciting broadcasts in history.
The New York Post reports that now, the network and the announcer are in talks for him to leave the network, but there is a lot of untangling to do because of their longtime relationship. Costas currently has three years left on a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract. For him to leave, his contract would have to be finished three years ahead of schedule. Currently he is under exclusive contract to NBC through 2021. The work Costas does for the MLB Network is not impacted by this exclusivity clause.
Costas is playing it a bit coy for now, but did acquiesce that it may be time for a change now that he is no longer announcing the Olympics, and due to the fact that he’s not that keen on football. Apparently, he wants to pursue opportunities for a talk show, with a more journalism-style format. The show would have a sports focus, and would feature interviews and in-depth investigations. Costas has rarely appeared on-air on NBC since his departure from announcing the Olympics.
“Sometimes you get to a point where it is not a fit anymore,” Costas said. “It doesn’t mean that anyone is angry or upset.”
It may simply be that Costas wants a bit more airtime, or at least to have a regular project to work on. Currently, he’s paid seven figures a year, but is used rarely on air. He’s become sort of an elder statesmen at the network, called upon to provide commentary and perspective on high-impact events like the death of boxing superstar Muhammad Ali.
Costas has been considered unique as a sports reporter because he is willing to express his opinions. For example, he has spoken up about not liking football because of the lasting damage it can cause to player’s brain health. His willingness to be outspoken has made him an asset, but NBC also has football games to air and may not want to continue the association with the outspoken anchor.
Costas hasn’t said where he is hoping to have a new show, but once negotiations between he and NBC conclude, it’s likely only a matter of time before it finds a home.