NBC Sports Group, ESPN Top 36th Sports Emmy Award Winners; Sochi Olympics Take Home Seven Statues

NBC Sports Group and ESPN networks came out on top at the 36th Annual Sports Emmy Awards last night at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, taking home 11 awards apiece. NBC Olympics’ coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi dominated the night’s winners, earning seven Sports Emmys – the most of any program.

NATASIn addition, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences bestowed eight Sports Emmys upon Fox Sports Media Group (including the first ever for Fox Sports 1), followed by MLB Network with four, HBO Sports with three, and Univision with two. CBS, NFL Media, and Turner Sports also took home one Sports Emmy apiece.

Live, Technical Categories Dominated by NBC, FOX
The NBC Sports Group ruled the bulk of the live production and technical categories. NBC Sports Group’s Super Bowl XLIX telecast earned the award Outstanding Live Sports Special and its Premier League coverage bested Outstanding Technical Team Studio category, while the Sochi Games took home Sports Emmys for Outstanding Technical Team Remote, Outstanding Live Graphic Design, The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award for Maximum Access, and Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Event Coverage (NBCOlympics.com).

Meanwhile, FOX won the Outstanding Live Sports Series for NASCAR on FOX, a third consecutive Outstanding Live Sports Series Emmy for the 2015 NFC Championship Game, and its whopping 10th consecutive Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound Emmy for MLB on FOX.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup also put in a quality showing in the live categories, as ESPN’s coverage in Brazil earned a statue for Outstanding Camera Work and Univision’s work was named Outstanding Live Sports Coverage in Spanish.

Breaking Down the Peacock’s Night
NBC Sports Group’s tie for the most Emmys of any sports media company marks the fifth consecutive year that NBC had the highest award total.

“We are proud to be honored by our peers in the industry,” said Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group Chairman. “Tonight’s results speak to the quality of the work NBC Sports Group produces on a daily basis, as well as at global events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl. We want to extend our congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and nominees.”

The seven Sports Emmys for NBC’s 2014 Sochi Winter Games coverage – including two for NBCOlympics.com – is the most for NBC’s Winter Olympics production since the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games (11). Other Sochi Winter Games wins included Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Programming: As the Athletes Experienced Them (NBCOlympics.com), Dick Schaap Outstanding Writing Award for Winter’s Theatre, and Outstanding Post-Produced Audio/Sound for Winter’s Theatre.

In addition to Sports Emmys for its Sochi Olympics, Super Bowl XLIX, and Premier League coverage, Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and NBC Sports Group’s lead NHL play-by-play voice Mike “Doc” Emrick were repeat winners. Collinsworth was awarded his seventh consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst. It was Collinsworth’s 16th career Emmy, which includes wins in 2007 and 2008 in the Studio Analyst category for work on Football Night in America. Emrick won his second consecutive and third Emmy in five years for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play.

The World Wide Leader Takes Home 11 Statues
In addition to claiming 11 awards – tying its highest total ever – at the Sports Emmys, ESPN’s former president and executive chairman George Bodenheimer received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“[Joining ESPN] was the opportunity of a lifetime, building something out of nothing,” Bodenheimer said in accepting his honor. “For me and hundreds of others, it became more than a job; it was an extended family.”

In addition to two Sports Emmys for its 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage (Outstanding Camera Work and Outstanding Promotional Announcement for Big Event/Time Zone/I Believe campaign), ESPN’s Monday Night Football earned Outstanding Post-Produced Graphics Design, College GameDay was named the Best Weekly Studio Show for the fifth time (also in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2014), and SportsCenter received its 17th Sports Emmy, this time for Studio Design/Art Direction, thanks to the fall 2014 debut of its state-of-the-art Digital Center 2 set.

ESPN’s triumphs also included a trio of awards for ESPN’s long-form news magazine E:60 (Outstanding Open/Tease and Edited Special for Dream On: Stories of Boston’s Strongest and Outstanding Long Feature for Owen and Haatchi) and two Documentary category wins (a second consecutive Outstanding Documentary Series for 30 for 30 and Outstanding Sports Documentary for We Could Be King).

Other ESPN highlights on the evening included longtime SportsCenter anchor and studio host Stuart Scott being honored posthumously, cancer survivor Shelley Smith taking the stage to a standing ovation fresh off her return to reporting duties, and a first-time win by ESPN Deportes in the Outstanding On-Air Personality Spanish-Language category with honors going to Ernesto Jerez.

ESPN has now won 171 Sports Emmy Awards in 28 years of eligibility.

FOX Sports Live Makes Splash; FOX Continues Audio, Playoff Category Dominance
FOX Sports notched wins in eight categories, highlighted by a whopping 10th consecutive win in the Live Event Audio/Sound category and third Outstanding Playoff Coverage award in a row. FS1’s Fox Sports Live studio show also earned its first four trophies ever.

NASCAR on FOX was named as Outstanding Live Sports Series, while the 2015 NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks topped the Outstanding Playoff Coverage category. The MLB on FOX won the Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound Sports Emmy for the third time in four years. FOX programs have now topped the category for 10 years in a row. In addition, the Outstanding Sports Personality– Sports Reporter Emmy went to MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal.

FOX Sports Live’s Sports Emmy wins were all for its features department. “Finding Rico Harris: The Vanishing Man” won the category for Outstanding Long Form Editing, while “Corked: The Albert Belle Bat Heist,” earned the award for Outstanding Short Form Editing and Outstanding Short Feature. Additionally, “Captain’s Curtain Call,” a New York-themed tribute to retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, won for Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Programming – Short Format. The Sports Emmys awarded Tuesday night marked the first for FOX Sports 1 since the channel’s launch in August 2013.

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