While the ESPN family of channels led with 49 nominations going into Monday’s Sports Emmys, the cable nets had to settle for tying HBO for second place with seven wins apiece, while NBC collected nine awards. Going into the 32nd annual edition of these kudos, HBO — which had led the leader board last year with 9 wins — had 22 nominations while NBC had 20.
Among the prizes for the peacock network were five for its coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. “Sunday Night Football” won its third consecutive Best Live Sports Series. And three of net’s on-air personalities won as well: Bob Costas (Best Studio Host), Cris Collinsworth (Best Sports Events Analyst) and Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (Best Play-by-Play).
Three of the HBO wins were for “Hard Knock” including Best Edited Sports Series/Anthology. The paycaster also won Best Sports Documentary for “Lombardi.” “College Gameday” won ESPN Best Weekly Studio Show while CBS claimed Best Playoff Coverage for the NCAA basketball tournament.
This year, nominees topped 150 in 33 categories. Not surprisingly, the peacock net’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver racked up a leading 11 bids while ESPN/ABC earned 10 for their combined effort on World Cup coverage from South Africa. ABC won for Best Live Sports Special for the final soccer match.
Veteran sports broadcaster Al Michaels was feted with a lifetime achievement award. Michaels has covered more major sports events than any sportscaster, including 20 years as the play-by-play voice of “Monday Night Football.” He is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television. Along the way he won Best Play-By-Play Sport Personality six times (1986, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2008).