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Bob Costas and NBC split because of concussions



Costas was scheduled to host his last NFL game at Super Bowl Sunday last year, but months before the Eagles started the Patriots on February 4, 2018, the famous Sportcaster was removed from the program and set the stage for the end of its 40-year-old Career at NBC.

Costas, who hosted nearly every imaginable sporting event from the Olympics to the Kentucky Derby, has historically played a key role in the NFL's role in the concussion crisis. But the remarks made a year ago at a journalism symposium had gone too far for his bosses.

"I think the words were," You've crossed the line, "Costas said to ESPN's" Outside the Lines. "And my thought was," Which line did I cross? "

In 201

7, Costas said a crowd at the University of Maryland: "The reality is that this game is destroying people's brains – not for everyone, but a considerable number. It's not a small number, it's a considerable number. It destroys their brains." [19659003]

The comments quickly became viral, causing NBC to make a statement stating that Costas & # 39; opinions were his own and the unrepresented views of NBC Sports. Costas also went to CNN at the time, "to make it clear that he does not criticize NBC," according to the ESPN report. NBC pulled him out of the Super Bowl LII anyway, Costas said.

"I recall the phrase," It's a six-hour celebration of football, and you're not the right person to celebrate football, "Costas told ESPN," but I did not answer "Oh please, please change your opinion. "My answer was," Yes, I think you're right. "

An NFL spokesman told ESPN that the league has not asked to pull Costas off the air.

Costas told ESPN that he wrote an essay in 2015 on the release of the movie "Concussion," which was killed by NBC Sports because the network was in negotiations with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football. "Concussion" is a sports drama about the doctor who discovered the connection between CTE and head trauma and the NFL's efforts to discredit its research. Costas wanted to use the release of the film to tackle the problem on national television.

"It was a natural introduction," Costas told ESPN. "I thought the film would have an impact, and I thought that this was not just a way for NBC to confirm that, but also to get out of it." TV partners. In a highly fragmented television landscape, the NFL is the largest rating Juggernaut. Networks pay the League billions of dollars for the right to broadcast their games. Even as ratings went down in recent seasons, NFL games were among the most watched events on television. The regular season of NFL viewers grew by around 5% in 2018 compared to the previous year, attracting an average of 15.8 million viewers.

"Look, the NFL is not just the most important sporting event, but the most important asset on the whole American television network," Costas told ESPN. "And it's not even close."

NBC and Costas ended their decade-long partnership earlier this year. NBC made a statement on the ESPN report.

"Historically, we have given our commentators plenty of room to talk about issues and controversy, and Bob has benefited most from this policy," said NBC spokesman for CNN Business. "We are very disappointed that after 40 years with NBC, he has decided to misclassify and share these private interactions after his departure."


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