One of America’s iconic big-event broadcast voices, Bob Costas, will serve as a special contributor for NBC’s Saturday, April 11 primetime telecast of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC, it was announced today.
Costas, host Al Michaels, and blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert will work together on a broadcast for the first time ever on the PBC on NBC show Saturday, April 11 live at 8:30 p.m. ET from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Costas will present a feature on the long and storied history of boxing in New York.
Returning to their native New York for the telecast (Albert and Michaels are from Brooklyn, Costas from Commack, Long Island), the trio is synonymous with the biggest events in sports – combining to work 25 Super Bowls, 25 NBA Finals, 23 Olympics, 19 World Series, and numerous championship boxing events on television and radio.
“We are thrilled to have three of sports’ all-time broadcasting heavyweights – in prominence, not weight – working together on TV for the first time,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Appropriately, these three are teammates on a primetime NBC boxing telecast.”
“While I have done many broadcasts with Al and with Marv, this is a one-time opportunity to work on the same broadcast with two of the all-time greats, plus it’s a chance for me and Al to renew our ongoing debate with Marv as to which was the greater cinematic achievement – BASEketball or The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh,” said Costas, who at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games became U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host (Jim McKay hosted eight times for ABC).
“I never could have imagined this,” said Michaels, who in 2015 on Sunday Night Football begins his record 30th consecutive season as the play-by-play voice of the NFL’s premier primetime broadcast package. “And to have it all happen close to where we all grew up makes it that much more special. Very, very cool.”
“It is an honor to be a part of this group,” said Albert, who has been the most recognizable national voice of the NBA since 1990 in addition to his 37 years as the radio and TV voice of the New York Knicks. “I’ve always had great admiration for the work that Al and Bob have done through the years, and I’m proud to call them friends.”
Michaels, Albert, and Costas will be joined on the telecast by analyst and six-time world champion “Sugar” Ray Leonard, corner analyst B.J. Flores, and reporter Kenny Rice.
The Saturday, April 11 PBC on NBC primetime show features four boxers with a combined 127-4-1 record and 80 KOs – undefeated superstar Danny “Swift” Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) vs. Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), and middleweight champion “Irish” Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) vs. Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).
Following is an additional look at the legendary sports broadcasting trio working its first event together.
TALE OF THE TAPE
As play-by-play announcer or host, on television or radio, Costas, Michaels, and Albert have each worked the Super Bowl, Olympics, NBA Finals and World Series on multiple occasions. Following is a breakdown
11 Olympics, 11 NBA Finals, 7 Super Bowls, 7 World Series
10 Super Bowls, 8 Olympics, 8 World Series, 2 NBA Finals
12 NBA Finals, 8 Super Bowls, 4 Olympics, 4 World Series
AL MICHAELS — “Do you believe in Miracles? Yes!” – 1980 Winter Olympics, U.S. Hockey team defeats Soviet Union in semifinal
MARV ALBERT – “Yes, and it counts!” – Numerous NBA telecasts
BOB COSTAS – “The New York Yankees…World Champions….Team of the Decade…most successful franchise of the century.” – Final out as Yankees sweep Braves in 1999 World Series
While we will resist the temptation to compare the Costas-Michaels-Albert broadcasting trio to the equally esteemed Three Tenors (José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti), following is a sampling of great sports trios that at least one of the three has covered:
LeBron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh – Led by the All-Star trio, the Miami Heat advanced to four consecutive NBA Finals, winning two (2012 and 2013).
Greg Maddux-John Smoltz-Tom Glavine – From 1993-2002, the pitching trio led the Atlanta Braves to the playoffs every season, won three National League pennants and captured the 1995 World Series title.
Troy Aikman-Emmitt Smith-Michael Irvin — Nicknamed “The Triplets,” the Hall of Fame quarterback-running back-wide receiver combination led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons (1992-95).
Magic Johnson-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-James Worthy – The Hall of Fame Los Angeles Lakers trio advanced to six of seven NBA Finals from 1983-89, winning three titles with each earning NBA Finals MVP honors once.
Wayne Gretzky-Mark Messier-Jari Kurri – The Hall of Fame Edmonton Oilers front line trio won four Stanley Cups in five years between 1984-88.
“Sugar” Ray Leonard-Thomas “Hitman” Hearns-“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler – Hall of Fame welterweight/middleweight trio captured 15 boxing titles in late 1970s and 1980s.
Larry Bird-Kevin McHale-Robert Parish – The Hall of Fame front court led the Boston Celtics to three NBA titles and two additional trips to the NBA Finals in the 1980s.
Pete Rose-Joe Morgan-Johnny Bench – Stalwarts of the “The Big Red Machine,” led Cincinnati Reds to three consecutive National League pennants, winning the World Series in 1975 and 1976.
Willis Reed-Walt Frazier-Dave DeBusschere – Trio led the New York Knicks to the franchise’s only two NBA titles in a four-year span (1970 and 1973).
The debut PBC on NBC telecast on Saturday, March 7 averaged 3.4 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched professional boxing broadcast in 17 years (“Oscar De La Hoya’s Fight Night” on FOX, 5.9 million, Mon., March 23, 1998). The PBC on NBC debut also led NBC to a Saturday primetime victory among Adults 18-49, with a 1.08 rating in the demographic.
NBC and NBCSN will present 20 live “PBC on NBC” boxing events in 2015. Within the 20 live shows, NBC Sports Group will present more than 50 hours of PBC coverage, including NBCSN pre- and post-fight programming for NBC telecasts. The Premier Boxing Champions series is created for television by Haymon Boxing. The PBC on NBC will feature many of today’s brightest stars, in their most compelling matches.
All PBC on NBC shows will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. NBC Sports Live Extra is available for desktops at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store.