The Olympic torch is being passed from a veteran NBC sports announcer to a veteran of ESPN, with NBC naming Mike Tirico to replace Bob Costas as prime-time anchor on the Olympics telecast. Tirico will take over starting with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The New York Times notes that Costas, 64, has had the job for 24 years. Tirico, a 25-year ESPN veteran, came aboard at NBC just last year, in time for the Summer Olympics in Rio, where he was a daytime host.
Tirico’s long resume in TV sports also includes covering the NFL — including a 10-year run calling play-by-play on “Monday Night Football” — along with the NBA and the U.S. Open golf championship, among many other sports. He has been a fixture on ESPN’s flagship show “SportsCenter” along with other programs.
NBC announced the move this morning. The Times notes that Costas discussed his situation this week, saying in an interview: “It just felt to me like the right time and it’s felt like the right time for a while. … This was a good time to step away, while I could still do it.”
Tirico commented: “I knew Bob wasn’t going to stay in the job for 20 more years, but I didn’t know if they were going to choose me or when it would happen.”
Tirico wasn’t speculating about whether he will still have the job after 2018. The Times quotes him saying: “Hopefully they invite me back for another. I’m just focused on South Korea.”