Bob Costas : biography
In 1999, Costas teamed with his then-NBC colleague, Joe Morgan to call two weekday night telecasts for ESPN. The first was on Wednesday, August 25 with Detroit Tigers playing against the Seattle Mariners. The second was on Tuesday, September 21 with the Atlanta Braves playing against the New York Mets.
National Basketball Association
When NBC gained the NBA network contract from CBS in 1990, Costas hosted the telecasts and was teamed in the studio with ex-Lakers coach Pat Riley. He also hosted the studio program Showtime and did play-by-play for the 1991 All-Star Game. In 1997, Costas began a three-year stint as the lead play-by-play man for The NBA on NBC. NBC enlisted Costas’ services after they were forced to (temporarily) remove Marv Albert from their broadcasts due to lingering personal and legal problems at the time. Costas stepped aside following the 2000 NBA Finals, in favor of a returning Marv Albert. Costas returned to call some games of the 2002 NBA Playoffs after Albert was injured in a car accident two days before the playoffs began.
While this, in essence, ended his active role on the NBA on NBC program (by this point, Hannah Storm and briefly Ahmad Rashād had replaced Costas on studio anchoring duties), Costas would return to do play-by-play for selected playoff games. Costas also anchored NBC’s NBA Finals coverage in 2002, which was their last to date as Hannah Storm also anchored it with Costas.
National Football League
In 2006, Costas returned to studio hosting duties on The NFL on NBC (under the Football Night in America banner), which was returning after a near ten-year hiatus. Costas last hosted NFL telecasts for NBC in 1992.
Costas is nicknamed "Rapping Roberto" by New York City’s Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman. Al Michaels also called him "Rapping Roberto" during the telecast between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants on September 10, 2006, in response to Costas calling him "Alfalfa."
National Hockey League
Costas hosted NBC’s coverage of the 2008, 2009 and the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. He was scheduled to host coverage of the 2011 event as well, but due to the game’s postponement, Costas only hosted pre-game coverage before leaving to go to Seattle for his duties with NBC’s NFL coverage the next night. He hosted the event in 2012 as well as a post-game edition of NHL Live on NBC Sports Network.
Talk show hosting
Costas also hosted the syndicated radio program Costas Coast to Coast from 1986–1996, which was later revived as Costas on the Radio. Costas on the Radio, which ended its three-year run on May 31, 2009, aired on 200 stations nationwide each weekend and syndicated by the Clear Channel owned Premiere Radio Networks. Like Later, Costas’ radio shows have focused on a wide variety of topics, and have not been limited to sports discussion.
Costas hosted Later with Bob Costas on NBC from 1988 until 1994. This late night show created by Dick Ebersol, coming on at 1:30 a.m. as the third program in NBC’s nightly lineup after The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman, was something of a break from the typical TV talk show format of the era, featuring Costas and a single guest having a conversation for the entire half hour, without a band, opening monologue or studio audience. On several occasions, Costas held the guest over for multiple nights, and these in-depth discussions won Costas much praise for his interviewing skills. The show was taped in GE Building’s studios 3B or 8H at the Rockefeller Plaza with Costas interviewing the guest for 45 minutes to an hour before turning the material over to editors who condensed it down to 22 minutes plus commercial breaks.. More popular guests were given two or three part interviews that ran consecutive nights. In August 1991, Mel Brooks became the only guest for four consecutive nights in the series’ history.