(NBC Sports) - Bob Costas is passing the NBC Olympic primetime host torch to Mike Tirico for PyeongChang, ending a U.S.-television record of 11 Olympics in that role.
“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,” Costas, who made his Olympic debut in 1988 and primetime debut in 1992, said in a press release. “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.”
Tirico joined NBC Sports last year and helped cover the Rio Olympics as host of daytime coverage and the Closing Ceremony. Rio marked Tirico’s first Olympics as a broadcaster.
“The level and longevity of Bob’s tenure have left an indelible mark on American television and the Olympic Games,” Tirico said in a press release. “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, who has been with NBC for 37 years, will continue to have noteworthy roles in NBC Sports and NBC News programs.
“They’ve been kind enough to call it the Brokaw phase of my career, so I’ll be to sports what Tom has been for the last several years to news,” Costas said on TODAY on Thursday. “I’ll show up when it’s appropriate for me to show up, including sometimes on the Olympics or the Kentucky Derby or the Super Bowl, or on this show.”
Costas’ record 11 Olympics as primetime host surpassed legendary Jim McKay‘s eight times for ABC.
“You have to mention Jim McKay,” Costas said on TODAY. “There’s a 1 and 1A [for Olympic primetime hosts], and I think I’m 1A because Jim McKay invented the role and distinguished himself so much.”