Bob Costas to Join MLB Network But Stay With NBC

Bob Costas
Bob Costas

Bob Costas, a 19-time Emmy Award winner and NBC broadcaster, has signed a multi-year contract to join the upstart MLB Network, CNBC has learned, though he will remain at NBC Sports.

The MLB network, which debuted on Jan. 1 as the largest launch in cable history at 50 million homes, will announce the news later today.

Costas will host original programming on the channel and will serve as play-by-play commentator for a select group of regular season games broadcast by the network, which is owned by the league.

"Bob's love for baseball is well documented and very sincere," said his agent Sandy Montag of IMG. "When this opportunity came up, it made a lot of sense. The network's distribution out of the box is strong, the management is strong and the place looks great."

He is the author of the bestseller, "Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball," which was written in 2000.

Montag also said the network's geographical location was also a plus. The MLB Network is based in Secaucus, N.J., close to New York, where Costas now lives.

Costas, who hosted NBC's recent coverage of Super Bowl XLIII, will continue his responsibilities with NBC Sports, including hosting the Olympics and the Sunday Night Football show, "Football Night in America." Costas has been with the network since 1980.

As part of the deal, Costas will leave HBO, where he hosted "Costas Now" and "Inside the NFL" over the last eight years.

Although a deal wasn't finalized at that point, Costas interviewed Don Larsen and Yogi Berra for the network as part of its rebroadcast of the 1956 World Series perfect game, which was the first thing viewers saw when the network debuted on Jan. 1.

Costas will host a new one-hour program for the network called "MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas."

His first interview, with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, will air on Thursday, Feb. 5.