The era of Bob Costas hosting primetime Olympics coverage is over. Costas passed the torch over to Mike Tirico on Thursday morning’s edition of the Today Show, exactly one year before the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea.
WATCH: Bob Costas passes the torch to @miketirico, announces he is handing off his primetime Olympic duties pic.twitter.com/qRaodXm30r
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 9, 2017
Costas and Tirico both had statements in NBC’s press release announcing the transition.
“It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC’s Olympic coverage all these years,” said Costas, who has the longest tenure of NBC’s sports announcers (37 years). “I’m especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts. I always felt that, in a certain sense, I was carrying the ball for them. It’s been a wonderful run, but I just felt now was the right time to step away and I’m grateful that NBC left that decision to me.”
“The level and longevity of Bob’s tenure have left an indelible mark on American television and the Olympic Games,” said Tirico, who made his Olympics debut last summer as an NBC daytime host and host of the Closing Ceremony in Rio. “I am honored to call him a friend, humbled by this opportunity, and thankful to the many people who have helped make this possible.”
Costas was the primetime host for a whopping 11 Olympics at NBC, stretching back to Barcelona’s Summer Games in 1992. Tirico was a part of NBC’s Summer Olympics coverage from Rio last season, just weeks after leaving ESPN for the Peacock.
As for what’s next for Costas, SBJ’s John Ourand reported that he will no longer be hosting Sunday Night Football, though will still make appearances during the NFL playoffs and NBC’s Triple Crown horse racing coverage.
This is a transition that most of expected once Tirico made the jump, but I don’t think many of us expected him to be taking over as the primetime host in 2018. That being said, it’s a warranted and well-deserved promotion.