Costas expands his role at HBO

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bob Costas is expanding his role at HBO under a multiyear contract that includes appearances on ''Inside the NFL.''

Two TV industry sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press about the deal Tuesday. HBO declined comment. However, the cable network did announce that it will hold a news conference Wednesday, but wouldn't say why.

Costas, a 12-time Sports Emmy winner who joined HBO a year ago for his show ''On the Record,'' couldn't be reached for comment.

But his business agent, Pam Davis, said Tuesday: ''He says he will announce tomorrow what he's going to do for HBO. It doesn't preclude involvement with NBC. The network portion is not defined.''

The HBO deal means Costas won't move to The Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC and ESPN. They had been in talks, with Costas being offered the job as host of an NBA studio show on ABC and a variety of work at ESPN.

''Bob's a great talent, but ESPN was interested in doing a deal that made good business sense,'' ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said.

ABC and ESPN recently outbid NBC for the TV rights to the next six years of NBA games. With NBC also losing the NFL and major league baseball in recent years, there has been less and less for Costas to do at that network -- other than, of course, his turns as the studio host for Olympics coverage.

Costas' deal with NBC ends this summer, and both industry sources said Costas could still reach an arrangement with the network for the Olympics. NBC holds the U.S. TV rights to the 2004, 2006 and 2008 games.

Last year, Costas won his 12th Sports Emmy, selected outstanding studio host for his work during the 2000 Sydney Games on NBC. He also owns an Emmy for the late-night talk show ''Later.''

''On the Record'' started its second 12-week run Thursday.



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