“Our national nightmare is over,” joked Jim Bell, executive producer of the Olympics broadcast, during a conference call with reporters Monday. Costas’ absence has been a focal point of NBCU’s broadcast since the veteran appeared on air last week looking red-eyed.
Costas has been sidelined for six nights after suffering an eye infection. “Today” co-host Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieria, a former “Today” co-host who is an NBC News contributor have filled in for Costas over the last several nights.
Costas said he spent part of his time off the air sitting in a darkened room keeping current on events by watching NBC, NBCSN, ESPN and CNN.
Costas said blurry vision and light sensitivity kept him from appearing on TV. He said he understood the hubbub surrounding his absence from the Olympics chair, but suggested high-definition TV and social media had augmented the situation.