CBS, ESPN, FOX Reign at Sports Emmy Awards; ESPN’s Front Row Cam Earns Wensel Award

CBS Sports’ productions of the 2018 AFC Championship Game, the 118th Army-Navy Game lead the way

CBS Sports and ESPN enjoyed a big night at last night’s 38th-annual Sports Emmy Awards, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. CBS led the networks, garnering eight awards while ESPN’s network group (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPNews, WatchESPN, and ABC) collected a combined 10 trophies.

CBS’s coverage of the 2018 AFC Championship Game (five awards) and the 118th Army-Navy Game (three, including the highly coveted Outstanding Live Sports Special) were the most celebrated sports productions of the year.

ESPN’s Terry Brady accepted the coveted George Wensel Technical Achievement Award at the annual Sports Emmys in New York City on Tuesday night. ESPN received the award for its use of Front Row Cam on Sunday Night Baseball.

ESPN’s haul was highlighted by the coveted George Wensel Technical Achievement Award, honoring the sports-media giant’s introduction of Front Row Cam on Sunday Night Baseball telecasts. The camera, a mirror-based robotic system co-developed with VER, was both a technological achievement and a nod to the sport’s television past, replicating a popular low-home angle, which has largely faded away because it requires removal of expensive stadium seating.

“What started as an idea literally drawn up on a scrap piece of paper became the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award,” said Terry Brady, director, remote production operations, ESPN, in accepting it. “That’s what makes this business amazing: a simple conversation can become a vehicle that brings baseball fans closer to the action.”

The Outstanding Technical Team Remote statuette went to Fox Sports and FS1 for NASCAR on Fox. The award for Outstanding Technical Team Studio was split between NFL Network’s coverage of Super Bowl LII and ESPN’s College GameDay.

NBC Sports took the honors in the Outstanding Camera Work category for its production of the 143rd Kentucky Derby. Fox Sports, meanwhile, maintained its dominance in audio by earning the Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound Emmy for NASCAR on Fox. Esports made its presence felt: YouTube and Twitch TV (with Riot Games) claimed the Outstanding Live Graphic Design Emmy.

Among other notable live event productions celebrated were NBC’s Sunday Night Football (Outstanding Live Sports Series), MLB Network’s MLB Tonight (Outstanding Studio Show – Daily), and Univision Deportes’ FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and USA (Outstanding Live Sports Coverage in Spanish).

On the digital end, Sports Illustrated’s 360-degree VR experience, Capturing Event, won for Outstanding Digital Innovation; Fox and NASCAR Productions teamed up to win the Outstanding Social TV Experience with its 100,000 Cameras production surrounding the 2017 Ohio State-Michigan football games; and the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament/March Madness Live won for Outstanding Trans-Media Sports Coverage.

For the full list of winners from Tuesday night’s ceremony, CLICK HERE.

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