But no politics.
"If I wanted to go and do politics, I'd still be doing politics," he said. "This clearly is something else."
Olbermann said he had no content clause in his contract, but that didn't matter — he's signed on to do a sports show. Skipper said politics — or pop culture — would slip on when that intersected with sports.
Olbermann's last two politically oriented jobs didn't end well either. After eight years as a prime-time host at MSNBC, he quit abruptly in January 2011. He later joined Current TV but lasted a year before he was taken off the air; he would go on to file a lawsuit, which was settled out of court.
The 54-year-old Olbermann made his name with his catchphrases and sardonic tone as a "SportsCenter" anchor from 1992-97. But his stint ended amid harsh words and clashes with management over his right to do outside work. He was suspended briefly for not seeking permission to record public service announcements.
"I could apologize a thousand times. We could get everybody that ever took offense at anything I did and bring them all into one place — we'd probably need Yankee Stadium. I could get out on the field and point to everybody: 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,'" Olbermann said.
"But practically speaking," he added, "particularly for those people who aren't sure, all that's going to make a difference is how I conduct myself."
Olbermann said he started thinking about a way to reunite with ESPN even before he left, noting that he later worked for ESPN Radio.
Former ESPN anchor Robin Roberts worked with Olbermann before she moved on to co-anchor ABC's "Good Morning America."
"Yeah, was it a little rough when he left?" she said backstage at the ESPY Awards. "It's all about forgiveness and knowing that in his heart of hearts it's a great fit. I can't believe he's back."