While the ESPN family of channels went into the 31st annual Sports Emmys with a leading 54 nominations, the cable nets had to settle for second place with seven wins, as paycaster HBO walked away with nine awards.
HBO dominated the pre-taped end of the spectrum winning for best edited sports special ("24/7 Mayweather‑Marquez"), best edited series ("Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cincinnati Bengals") and best sports documentary ("Assault in the Ring") as well as a half dozen technical awards.
The main ESPN network won three Sports Emmys including both of the studio show awards for the daily "Pardon the Interruption" and the weekly "College Game Day" as well as studio analyst for Kirk Herbstreit. The ESPN2 newsmagazine "E:60" took awards for sports journalism and long feature.
NBC -- which won nine Sports Emmys last year including four for its 2008 Summer Olympics coverage -- had to settle for just four wins this year: best live sports special (the 2009 Super Bowl), best live sports series ("Sunday Night Football"), and repeats by Bob Costas (best sports host) and Cris Collinsworth (best sports analyst).
The ceremony at Lincoln Center included 32 competitive categories as well as a lifetime achievement award to football analyst John Madden who retired last year after three decades in the broadcast booth. Over the years, Madden won a record 16 Sports Emmys as outstanding sports analyst/personality.
For the full list of winners visit the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website.
Illustration: Ty Wilson