Bob Costas

Sports Broadcaster


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Bob Costas talks about his early interest in sports broadcasting. He describes his approach to sportscasting, chronicles his early jobs as a play-by-play announcer, and recounts getting hired by Don Ohlmeyer at NBC Sports. He recalls how Ohlmeyer encouraged him to allow his personality to come through on television and how he developed his broadcasting style. Costas discusses various aspects of sports play-by-play: prepping for a broadcast, splitting his view between the field and the monitor on air, and the importance of historical sports knowledge. He outlines his expanded work at NBC, starting with Today and subsequently Later with Bob Costas. He speaks of helming On the Record with Bob Costas, and details his role as prime-time host of The Olympics. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 24, 2008 in New York, NY. 

"For years, when I broke in, I thought that my first name was Irreverent. I was the Irreverent Bob Costas. Then, all of the sudden, I became the Venerable Bob Costas. People like easy labels and caricatures and categories they can toss people into. I think if people watch what I do, they see that there's a lot of lightheartedness in it. There's some goofiness and irreverence. I hope it all fits within a style that has some texture to it."

Highlights
Bob Costas on hosting the Olympics
00:48
Bob Costas on the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
01:54
Bob Costas on his style of delivery
01:43
Bob Costas on an amazing story guest Anthony Quinn told on Later with Bob Costas
03:38
Bob Costas on covering the 1982 World Series and the 1984 "Sandberg game"
01:19
Bob Costas on Kirk Gibson hitting the home-run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series
01:36
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on wanting to be a broadcaster; on developing his voice and broadcasting style
On studying Public Communications at Syracuse University and working at the campus radio station; on his first professional job - broadcasting hockey; on joining KMOX in St. Louis and announcing for the local ABA team (alternative league to the NBA)
On getting hired at NBC and Don Ohlmeyer recognizing his talent, but thinking Costas looked very young; on learning to loosen up on television; on his preparations for broadcasts
On being paired with announcer/former baseball player Tony Kubek; on memorable sports moments he called during the 1980s: 1982 World Series, and the 1984 "Sandberg Game"; on his interest in history
On expanding his role at NBC - appearing on Today, and hosting Later with Bob Costas and the Olympics; on interviewing guests on Later with Bob Costas
On the first time he served as prime-time host of the Olympics - 1992 in Barcelona; on how he handles live and taped events; on what he anticipates for the 2012 London Olympics

Chapter 2

On hosting The Olympics and accenting the human interest stories; on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
On the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; on the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics; on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage and the dynamics of international sports
On hosting HBO's On the Record with Bob Costas; on filling in for Larry King on Larry King Live
On covering NBC Football
On how the business of televised sports has changed; on how his style affects telling the story of sports; on the importance of new media platforms
Shows

Larry King Live

View Show Page
Bob Costas on filling in for Larry King on Larry King Live
00:49

Later with Bob Costas

View Show Page
Bob Costas on Dick Ebersol wanting Costas for a late night show, Later with Bob Costas
00:26
Bob Costas on interviewing guests on Later with Bob Costas
02:35
Bob Costas on an amazing story guest Anthony Quinn told on Later with Bob Costas
03:38
Bob Costas on the charm of Later with Bob Costas and guests who wanted to be on the show
05:04

Olympics

View Show Page
Bob Costas on hosting the Olympics
00:45
Bob Costas the first time he served as prime-time host of the Olympics - 1992 in Barcelona; on how he approaches hosting
05:23
Bob Costas on covering the Olympics and why it's so captivating; on the tone of the Games and the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
09:15
Bob Costas on the 2000 Sydney Olympics
01:34
Bob Costas on the 2004 Athens Olympics
00:42
Bob Costas on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage; on the dynamics of international sports
05:53
Bob Costas on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
01:11

On the Record with Bob Costas

View Show Page
Bob Costas on hosting On the Record with Bob Costas
04:48

Today

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Bob Costas on filling in on Today
00:19
Topics

Coverage

View Topic
Bob Costas on covering the Olympics and why it's so captivating; on the tone of the Games and the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
09:15
Bob Costas on the 2000 Sydney Olympics
01:34
Bob Costas on the 2004 Athens Olympics
00:42
Bob Costas on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage; on the dynamics of international sports
05:53
Bob Costas on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
01:11
Bob Costas on how his style affects telling the story of sports
01:46

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Bob Costas on covering the 1986 World Series when the Red Sox almost beat the curse, and the Red Sox finally beating it in 2004
02:35
Bob Costas on Kirk Gibson hitting the home-run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series
01:36
Bob Costas on the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
01:54

Olympic Games

View Topic
Bob Costas on the first time he served as prime-time host of the Olympics - 1992 in Barcelona and how he approaches hosting
05:23
Bob Costas on covering the Olympics and why it's so captivating; on the tone of the Games and the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
09:15
Bob Costas on the 2000 Sydney Olympics
01:34
Bob Costas on the 2004 Athens Olympics
00:42
Bob Costas on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage; on the dynamics of international sports
05:53
Bob Costas on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
01:11

Sports

View Topic
Bob Costas on covering the 1986 World Series when the Red Sox almost beat the curse, and the Red Sox finally beating it in 2004
02:35
Bob Costas on covering the 1982 World Series and the 1984 "Sandberg game"
01:19
Bob Costas on Kirk Gibson hitting the home-run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series
01:36
Bob Costas on the first time he served as prime-time host of the Olympics - 1992 in Barcelona and how he approaches hosting
05:23
Bob Costas on covering the Olympics and why it's so captivating; on the tone of the Games and the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
09:15
Bob Costas on the 2000 Sydney Olympics
01:34
Bob Costas on the 2004 Athens Olympics
00:42
Bob Costas on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage; on the dynamics of international sports
05:53
Bob Costas on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
01:11
Bob Costas on hosting On the Record with Bob Costas
04:48
Bob Costas on how his style affects telling the story of sports
01:46
Bob Costas on how the business of televised sports has changed
01:29

Television Industry

View Topic
Bob Costas on how the business of televised sports has changed
01:29

World Series

View Topic
Bob Costas on covering the 1986 World Series when the Red Sox almost beat the curse, and the Red Sox finally beating it in 2004
02:35
Bob Costas on covering the 1982 World Series and the 1984 "Sandberg game"
01:19
Bob Costas on Kirk Gibson hitting the home-run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series
01:36
Professions

Hosts

View Profession
Bob Costas on how his style affects telling the story of sports
01:46

Sportscaster

View Profession
Bob Costas on how he became a television sportscaster
04:34
Bob Costas on how he prepares for a sportscast; on how he calls a game
04:24
Bob Costas on wanting to be a baseball player, then a broadcaster
02:11
Bob Costas on how his style affects telling the story of sports
01:46
Bob Costas on advice to aspiring sportscasters
01:59
Genres

Sports

View Genre
Bob Costas on how he prepares for a sportscast; on how he calls a game
04:24
Bob Costas on the first time he served as prime-time host of the Olympics - 1992 in Barcelona; on how he approaches hosting
05:23
Bob Costas on covering the Olympics and why it's so captivating, and on the tone of the Games and the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
09:15
Bob Costas on the 2000 Sydney Olympics
01:34
Bob Costas on the 2004 Athens Olympics
00:42
Bob Costas on the response he gets to his Olympic coverage and on the dynamics of international sports
05:53
Bob Costas on hosting On the Record with Bob Costas
04:48

Talk Shows

View Genre
Bob Costas on filling in for Larry King on Larry King Live
00:49
People

Red Barber

View Person Page
Bob Costas on broadcasting for radio versus television and the strengths of Vin Scully and Red Barber
01:13

Tom Brokaw

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Bob Costas on the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
01:54

Robert Duvall

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Bob Costas on the charm of Later with Bob Costas and guests who wanted to be on the show
00:07

Dick Ebersol

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Bob Costas on Dick Ebersol wanting Costas for a late night show, Later with Bob Costas
00:26
Bob Costas on decisions Dick Ebersol has to make as producer of The Olympics
01:11

David Letterman

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Bob Costas on going on David Letterman's show to do elevator races and learning to loosen up on television
01:13

Rosie O'Donnell

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Bob Costas on Rosie O'Donnell, a fellow famous alumnus from his high school
00:37

Don Ohlmeyer

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Bob Costas on Don Ohlmeyer recognizing his talent, but thinking Costas looked very young
03:20

Anthony Quinn

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Bob Costas on an amazing story guest Anthony Quinn told on Later with Bob Costas
03:38

Vin Scully

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Bob Costas on broadcasting for radio versus television and the strengths of Vin Scully and Red Barber
01:13
Bob Costas on Kirk Gibson hitting the home-run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series (called by Vin Scully)
01:36

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