ESPN Tops Sports Emmy Nominations for Seventh Time in Eight Years
ESPN led all networks in 37th-annual Sports Emmy Award nominations for the third consecutive year and the seventh time in eight years. In all, ESPN networks totaled 57 nominations, led by the Mothership’s 40 nods and ESPN2’s 11. ESPN’s total equaled its network-record 57 nominations last year and was followed by Fox Sports Media Group’s 38 nominations (including 27 for FS1 and 19 for Fox), CBS Sports’ 29 (21 for CBS, eight for Showtime), NBC Sports Group’s 28 (19 for NBC, eight for NBCSN), Turner Sports’ 16, HBO Sports’ 13, MLB Media’s 11 (MLB Network/MLBAM 10, NHL Network one), and NFL Media’s eight.
As previously announced, Verne Lundquist, CBS Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer for college football and iconic broadcaster of more than 20 sports, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports at the ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday May 10 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center in New York City.
Sports Emmy Spotlight: Technical Categories
ESPN came away with five nominations in the Technical categories (Technical Team Remote, Technical Team Studio, and George Wensel Technical Achievement Award), followed by CBS and Fox with three apiece and MLB Network with two. NBC Sports Group, Turner Sports, and NFL Media also earned a Technical nod each.
The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award will go to one of the following: Turner/CBS for its NCAA RailCam at 2015 NCAA March Madness, ESPN for the Pylon Cam at the CFP National Championship/Monday Night Football, MLB Advanced Media’s Statcast during MLB Network Showcase, CBS’s EyeVision 360 at Super Bowl 50, or Fox Sports’ Rangefinder at the U.S. Open golf tournament.
ESPN earned Technical Team Remote nods for its 2015 US Open tennis and Monday Night Football coverage, along with NBC’s Sunday Night Football, CBS’s Super Bowl 50, and Fox’s U.S. Open golf. ESPN also took two nominations in the Technical Team Studio category for College GameDay (football) and SportsCenter, while Fox’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, MLB Network’s MLB Tonight, and NFL Network’s Super Bowl 50 efforts were also acknowledged.
Sports Emmy Spotlight: Live Event Categories
Fox Sports dominated the Live Event categories (Live Sports Special, Live Sports Series, Playoff Coverage, Live Event Audio/Sound, Live Graphic Design, and Live Sports Coverage in Spanish) this year with 11 nominations, including four for MLB on Fox/MLB Postseason and three for NFL regular-season/playoffs coverage.
NBC was second with seven nods (two apiece for NASCAR on NBC and Sunday Night Football/NFL Playoffs coverage). For their part, CBS had five Live Event category nominations, and ESPN had three.
CBS earned nominations for its coverage of Super Bowl 50 and The Masters golf in the coveted Live Sports Special category, along with NBC’s 147th Belmont Stakes, TNT’s NBA All-Star Saturday Night, and Fox’s World Series. Fox garnered two nominations in the Live Sports Series field for NASCAR on Fox and NFL on Fox, while ESPN College Football, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and CBS/NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football took the remaining three slots.
Breaking Down the Nominations By Network
ESPN’s 57 nominations were led by 10 apiece for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series (including four for 30 for 30 Shorts) and college-football coverage (four for College GameDay), plus noms in Live Series, Trans-Media Sports Coverage, Technical Team Studio, Live Graphic Design, and Technical Achievement). SportsCenter earned nine nods, while E:60 had eight. ESPN’s “Storytelling Unit” — a group within production — contributed 14 of the nominations, for E:60, SportsCenter, College GameDay, and Outside the Lines.
Fox Sports rode its live event coverage to 38 nods this year, headlined by six for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and three for the U.S. Open golf tournament. Fox once again ruled the Live Event Audio/Sound category — as it has for several years running — earning four of the five nominations for its MLB, NASCAR, NFL, and U.S. Open golf coverage. It also grabbed three of the five nominations for Outstanding Playoff Coverage for the ALCS (Blue Jays-Royals), ALDS (Rangers-Blue Jays), and NFC Divisional Playoff (Packers-Cardinals). In all, NATAS gave Fox’s live MLB coverage garnered four nominations, NFL three, and NASCAR two. Not to be outdone, Fox Sports’ studio programming also scored, with Fox Sports Live earning seven slots and Garbage Time With Katie Nolan taking home two.
CBS scored big with Super Bowl 50, which led the way with seven of its 29 nominations. CBS Sports also earned a pair of nods each for its production of The Masters golf and Thursday Night Football (plus another for its AFC Playoffs coverage). Showtime notched a trio of nods for its behind-the-scenes docuseries chronicling Floyd Mayweather fights, All Access: Mayweather vs. Berto earning two and Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao taking another. CBS also earned a pair of Outstanding Digital Innovation nods for its Army-Navy game 360 experience, and Showtime’s virtual-reality/360 production of the Jacobs-Quillin WBA Middleweight World Championship fight.
NBC Sports Group earned 28 Sports Emmy Award nominations for 2015, highlighted by 10 for its NFL coverage, five for its coverage of horseracing’s Triple Crown, and three for its first season of NASCAR coverage. Notably, Sunday Night Football was nominated for Outstanding Live Sports Series for the eighth consecutive year, having won the award in six of the last seven years. American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown run garnered five nominations for NBC’s coverage, highlighted by a nod for NBC’s 147th Belmont Stakes presentation in the Outstanding Live Sports Special category.
Turner Sports’ NBA coverage led the way in its 16 Sports Emmy nods, including three apiece for Inside the NBA on TNT and NBA All-Star Weekend. Turner also combined with CBS to earn two nominations for NCAA March Madness, as well as one for NCAA March Madness Live on NCAA.com, which is operated by Turner Sports.
HBO Sports’ haul of 13 was led by Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (4), followed by its docuseries: five for Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Houston Texans and two for Mayweather/Pacquiao: At Last. HBO’s Back on Board: Greg Louganis was also nominated for Long Sports Documentary.
MLB Network’s studio programming took center stage in its 11 nominations, MLB Tonight (Studio Show – Daily and Technical Team Studio) and MLB Central (Post-Produced Graphic Design) got three nods each, its Studio 21 a Design/Art Direction received a nom, and three of the five Sports Personality – Studio Analyst nominations went to MLB Network talent AL Leiter, Harold Reynolds, and Bill Ripken. MLB Advanced Media’s innovative Statcast player-tracking platform (featured on MLB Network Showcase) was also nominated for the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award.
NFL Network earned eight nominations, highlighted by a Live Series Nomination for Thursday Night Football (co-produced with CBS) and Technical Team Studio for its Super Bowl 50 coverage. In addition, NFL Films was involved in 11 nominations for programs that aired on various networks (notably, five for Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Houston Texans on HBO).
Univision picked up three nominations, including two in the Live Sports Coverage in Spanish category for its CONCACAF Cup Final (USA vs. Mexico) and CONCACAF Gold Cup (Jamaica vs. Mexico).
Epix’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic also picked up two nominations.
CLICK HERE for the full list of 2016 Sports Emmy Award nominations.