Los Angeles – (November 4, 2019) – Award-winning sportscaster Bob Costas shares his thoughts on the state of sports journalism, discusses his criticism of the NFL, opens up about his deep love for baseball, and more in a wide-ranging and unflinching conversation with Dan Rather on The Big Interview —airing Wednesday, November 13 at 8pE/5pP.
In this exclusive first look, Costas sets the record straight on his surprising exit from NBC and what led up to the decision. The announcement was made shortly before the 2018 Super Bowl, which Costas had been slated to host.
In 2012, Costas signed a contract containing what was described as a “Brokaw Clause,” named after legendary newsman Tom Brokaw who returns for big or special events. Costas invoked the clause in 2016, hoping to create more long-form commentary outside the confines of a traditional sportscaster role. Here’s a snippet of what Costas had to say in this extended clip of The Big Interview.
“They didn’t have as much interest in this type of interview, long-form stuff, or in real journalism,” Costas continues, “and at this stage of my career, other than doing baseball play-by-play, I really think that’s my best contribution. In an emeritus position, the best thing I had to offer was what wasn’t being done… which is why I suggested at the 2018 Super Bowl… that I should interview [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell… But they didn’t push for that, perhaps understandably.”
This would prove to be the beginning of the end of his time with NBC. However, despite the difference in vision, the split was far more amicable than many outsiders realized. Costas built solid friendships at the network during his tenure there, and he was careful to handle his disagreements with tact and professionalism.
“I was the first to suggest, ‘Why don’t we just settle what remains on the contract?’ And that’s what we did,” Costas says. “They were very generous and no hard feelings. And there was even a clause in the settlement that said if they should ever reacquire rights to baseball, that I would come back and do the World Series. So if that’s the way you fire a guy,” Costas quips, “we should all be so lucky as to be fired.”
The Big Interview airs every Wednesday at 8pE/5pP, only on AXS TV. Dan Rather sits down with David Byrne of the Talking Heads on November 20.