Bob Costas ’74 is perhaps the most decorated sportscaster in television. Costas has been with NBC Sports since 1979 and has covered nearly every major sport, though he might be most identified with the Olympics and baseball.
Costas anchored NBC’s primetime coverage of the last five summer Olympics—Barcelona, Spain 1992; Atlanta 1996; Sydney, Australia 2000; Athens, Greece 2004; and Beijing, China 2008. He also hosted the winter games in Salt Lake City 2002; Torino, Italy 2006; and Vancouver, Canada 2010. Costas is scheduled to host the 2012 summer games in London.
From 1983 through 1989, Costas teamed with Tony Kubek on NBC’s Baseball Game of the Week telecasts. He returned to baseball in the mid ’90s, handling play-by-play for NBC’s All-Star, Playoff and World Series coverage. Costas first teamed with Bob Uecker and Joe Morgan, then with Morgan alone. His book, Fair Ball, A Fan’s Case for Baseball was published in 2000, earning excellent reviews and remaining on The New York Times best seller list for several weeks. Costas has been involved in the NBC coverage of 10 League Championship Series and seven World Series.
In early 2009, Costas signed a long-term contract to join the new MLB Network. As part of this deal, Costas left HBO where he hosted the critically acclaimed Costas Now and had previously hosted Inside the NFL for six seasons. At MLBN, he has returned to play-by-play on selected game telecasts and inaugurated the popular Studio 42 interview series. Costas also narrates “MLB Remembers” historical pieces for the network.
A fixture of NBC’s NBA and NFL coverage in the ’80s and ’90s, Costas now hosts the network’s Football Night in America. With his hosting of Super Bowl XLIII, between Pittsburgh and Arizona, Costas has anchored five Super Bowls for NBC. He has also hosted, or called play-by-play, on 10 NBA Finals.
Costas has won 22 Emmy awards—18 for outstanding sports host or play-by-play, two for writing, one for his late-night interview show on NBC, Later…with Bob Costas, and one for feature reporting. Uniquely, he has been nominated for Emmys in five different categories: play-by-play, hosting, writing, interviewing, and journalism.
Admiration for Costas among his broadcast peers is undeniable, since they named him “National Sportscaster of the Year” an unprecedented eight times—in 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, and 2000.
Costas began his professional career in 1973, at WSYR TV and radio in Syracuse, while still completing his communications degree at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. After graduating in 1974, he joined KMOX radio in St. Louis.
Syracuse University honored Costas with the George Arents Award, SU’s highest alumni honor, for excellence in sports broadcasting in 2001.
Costas often returns to his alma mater as a speaker and contributor at the Newhouse School In 2009, he participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Newhouse School, titled “When Rights Collide: Sports Coverage vs. Branding.” The panel explored the free speech rights of sports journalists compared to the contract and property rights of networks, teams, and universities.
Costas is a native of Queens, New York, and grew up on Long Island.