NBC Sports was recognized with 11 Emmy Awards, the most of any network, including six for the network’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, the most for any program, tonight at the 30th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
As part of the ceremony, Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, was honored with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a winner of 30 Sports Emmy Awards, including six tonight, and has previously received the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Trustees Award.
Ebersol was presented the award in a moving ceremony by Muhammad Ali and the six leaders of American Sport: David Stern, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association; Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball; Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR; Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League; Brian France, CEO and Chairman of NASCAR; and Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner. This is believed to be the only time that the leaders of the six sports organizations have gathered for a joint presentation and one of the rare occasions that all have been assembled together. In an inspirational moment, Ali walked on the stage to present Ebersol with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Each of the leaders spoke about Ebersol using a single word as a theme to describe his career. Stern of Ebersol’s passion, Selig of Ebersol’s leadership, Finchem of Ebersol’s compassion, Bettman of Ebersol the innovator, France spoke of Ebersol the producer and Goodell spoke of Ebersol the partner.
GOODELL ON EBERSOL: “He is not selfish at all. He is trustworthy. He is doing what is best for American sports.”
BETTMAN TO EBERSOL: “When it comes to covering sports, your fingerprints are on the entire landscape.”
SELIG ON EBERSOL: “There are two legendary figures in the history of sports television. One is his mentor, Roone Arledge. The other is the protégé, Dick Ebersol.”
CBS’ JIM NANTZ ON EBERSOL COLLECTING THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: “That 30 minutes with the commissioners standing here was like going to the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.”
Fox’s Joe Buck described the six leaders of American sport appearing on stage as “an awesome site” and Ali appearing as “simply unbelievable” and said “even better was the speech Dick Ebersol gave because it was from the bottom of his heart.”
NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games won Emmy Awards in the following categories:
· Outstanding Live Event Turnaround
· Outstanding Technical Team Remote
· Outstanding New Approaches in Sports Event Coverage – NBCOlympics.com
· Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host (Bob Costas)
· Outstanding Camera Work – The Clock of Their Lives
· Outstanding Editing – Remember the Titans
In addition to the Olympics, NBC Sports won Emmy Awards in the following categories:
· Outstanding Live Sports Series – “NBC Sunday Night Football”
· Outstanding Live Sports Special – 108th U.S. Open Championship
· Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst – Cris Collinsworth
· Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement: Episodic – 2009 Winter Classic
Ebersol, who has led NBC Sports for 20 years, is renowned for his ability to amass large television audiences. Most recently, Ebersol architected two record-breaking television events: The Beijing Olympic Games, the most watched event in U.S. history, and Super Bowl XLIII, which delivered the largest single audience. Remarkably, he has now produced seven of the top ten most-watched events of all time.
Ebersol is recognized as a creative producer and a skilled promoter. Under his leadership, NBC Sports has come to represent superior production that elevates sport, broad promotion and mutually beneficial partnerships.
A complete list of winners will be made available at www.emmyonline.org.