Veteran sports announcer Bob Costas will trade in his Home Box Office hat for a baseball cap as he joins the MLB Network as an on-air analyst.
The channel, which launched Jan. 1, announced Tuesday that it has signed Costas to a multi-year, cable-exclusive deal to host original programs for the 50-million subscriber network.
The deal ends Costas' long run on HBO hosting his Costas Now sports show.
"Bob Costas was a terrific addition when he joined HBO Sports eight years ago, providing us with a distinct and unique presence," said Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, in a statement. "Television is about change and we respect Bob's decision to move to the MLB Network. We are very proud of the work Bob did at HBO, and we wish him well in his new endeavor."
Costas will hit the ground running with an interview today with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre for a new one-hour program titled, MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas. The show will air in its entirety on Feb. 5, immediately following the network's live coverage of the Caribbean World Series. Costas will also as the lead play-by-play commentator for a select number of MLB Network's slate of 26 live regular-season games.
Costas helped launch MLB Network Jan. 1 by hosting a special interview with Don Larsen and Yogi Berra, which was interspersed throughout footage of the first widescale airing of the perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
"Bob showed us all on Jan. 1 how his presence can truly elevate a broadcast, and we plan to tap into his unique abilities and perspective to build more high-caliber programming in the future," said Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network. "In addition to the studio show, we're also looking forward to Bob's return to the broadcast booth, where he's been part of so many memorable moments in baseball over the years."
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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