FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

NBC OLYMPICS MEDIA ADVISORY: MATT LAUER TO HOST NBC’S OLYMPIC PRIMETIME & LATE NIGHT COVERAGE TONIGHT

Bob Costas Rests Due to Eye Infection; Breaks Hosting Streak of 157 Consecutive Olympic Primetime Shows on NBC

SOCHI, Russia – Feb. 11, 2014 – Matt Lauer, host of TODAY and co-host of NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage, will host NBC’s Olympic primetime and late night shows tonight in place of Bob Costas, who has an eye infection.

“As a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light,” said Costas. “I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.” (see below for a complete statement from Costas)

Tonight marks the first time since CBS presented the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998 that someone other than Costas will host an Olympic primetime show. It’s also the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host the Olympic primetime show on NBC, a remarkable 157 straight nights.

“Bob has been a real trooper, but needs a night off. We’re fortunate to have such incredible talent to draw upon within the NBCU family, including Matt, someone I’ve worked with for many years,” said NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell. “Now I know how Chuck Daly felt with the 1992 Dream Team, substituting one Hall of Famer for another.”

“I saw Bob in the hotel this morning, and if ever there was a guy who looked like he needed a night off, it was him,” said Lauer, who is working his ninth Games. “I’m happy to keep his chair warm. Although I might Purell it before I sit in it!”

Costas is listed as ‘day to day’ on the NBC injury report.

***

Bob Costas on his health:

“It was becoming increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable, but if it was just that, I would have continued. We in broadcasting are lucky to have the jobs we do, and at one time or another, we’ve all gone on the air feeling less than our best.

“The difference is that last night and into this morning, it got to the point where, as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.

“If it was just discomfort, I’d be there. I’m receiving excellent treatment…it’s a viral infection, and all you can do is try to manage the symptoms while the virus runs its course. But I’m hopeful that those symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast.

“Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

–NBC OLYMPICS–

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