SBD/May 1, 2012/Media

NBC Leads Sports Emmy Awards Wins With Nine, Including Six For NFL Coverage

Tafoya wins Sports Emmy in the Sports Reporter category
NBC walked away with nine Sports Emmy awards last night, the most by any network. NBC won big for its NFL coverage, which took home honors in six categories: Live Sports Series, Playoff Coverage, Sports Event Analyst (Cris Collinsworth), Studio Host (Bob Costas), Sports Reporter (Michele Tafoya) and Production Design/Art Direction. ESPN finished second with six statues, including three for "Outside the Lines" -- Short Feature, Long Feature and Edited Sports Special. Fox won five awards, including four for its MLB coverage (Live Sports Special, Play-by-Play for Joe Buck, Technical Team Remote and Live Event Audio Sound). TNT's "Inside the NBA" took home four statues, including a win for Charles Barkley as top studio analyst. "Inside the NBA's" other wins were for Top Weekly Studio Show, Sports Promo Announcement and Open/Tease. Turner also won for, which was honored for New Approaches to Sports Event Coverage. Another big winner was Showtime's documentary, "A Game of Honor," which won three awards including Top Sports Documentary, New Approaches to Sports Programming and Sports Promotional Announcement. HBO, Showtime and MLB Network each won three Sports Emmys last night. Two of the big four broadcast networks did not win a Sports Emmy award last night. Nothing that appeared on CBS or ABC was honored, though the networks cable and Internet channels did receive honors (Showtime and for CBS and ESPN for ABC). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell accepted the "Chairman's Award," making the league the first sports organization to win the award.
SHOWING EMOTION: The night had several emotional moments. Perhaps the most poignant occurred when ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi accepted the Long Feature Emmy for "OTL's" story on "The Man Behind the Red Bandana." The story is about Welles Crowther, who died during 9/11 after having already saved 12 people from the World Trade Center's South Tower. Crowther's parents, Jefferson and Alison, were in attendance last night, and Rinaldi acknowledged them from the stage. As the crowd rose and clapped, Jefferson became clearly emotional, dabbing at his eyes.

Whitaker is honored with the Lifetime Achievement
award at last night's Sports Emmy celebration

WHITAKER HONORED: The introduction of longtime broadcaster Jack Whitaker as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award brought another standing ovation. CBS' Jim Nantz introduced Whitaker, saying, "We don't have a lot of the icons left." Whitaker: "I remember all the afternoons I spent in ballparks, at racetracks and on golf courses. And I tell myself how lucky I was to have been a television sportscaster." Joe Buck won the night's final award, for play-by-play. "Jack Whitaker made me miss my dad," Buck said. The award was significant for Buck, coming during a year when a virus in his vocal chords affected his ability to call games. "You really realize who your friends are at times like that," Buck said.

SALUTES FOR GOREN: Several honorees and presenters acknowledged longtime Fox exec Ed Goren, who is retiring this summer. One presenter, Curt Menefee, said, "I certainly would not be here today if it weren't for him." Goren received a standing ovation when he took the stage to accept the Sports Emmy for Live Sports Special, which was given to Fox for the World Series. Goren told a story from earlier in the day about how he walked behind Dick Ebersol for 10 blocks in Manhattan while the NBC exec was talking on his cell phone. "I finally had to shout out to him to let him know I was there," Goren said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

POKING FUN AT HIMSELF: TNT's Shaquille O'Neal had the line of the night while presenting one award. He opened his remarks by saying, "The last time I was up here, I was nominated for 'Kazaam.'"

MLB Network
NFL Network

NOTES: Bob Costas won the Studio Host Emmy for his work on NBC and MLB Network. Charles Barkley won the Studio Analyst Emmy for his work on TNT and NBA TV.
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