Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Olympics coverage carries NBC to 13 Sports Emmys

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK - NBC's coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics carried the network to 13 Sports Emmys at Monday night's awards ceremony.

One year after it received no awards, NBC won 11 for its coverage of the Salt Lake City Games. The 13 overall Emmys marked a record for the network, topping by one the total from 1988 and 1996, when NBC broadcast the Summer Olympics.

"Salt Lake was the best Olympics ever," NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said. "There was the great American spirit, the fantastic American athletes, and a fabulous effort by the NBC TV crew, who tonight were so richly embraced by their peers in the creative community."

Compelling story lines about U.S. athletes in Salt Lake dominated the 24th annual awards ceremony. NBC won awards for features on skeleton gold medalist Jim Shea and injured skier Bill Johnson.

The network also won awards for outstanding live sports special, editing, writing, music and several technical awards from the games. The award for studio host went to Bob Costas, for both HBO and NBC.

NBC's two other awards were for its NBA coverage and a special, "America's Heroes: The Bravest vs. the Finest," about a football game between New York firefighters and police officers who honored colleagues killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

ESPN and ESPN2 teamed for 10 awards, including two for the investigative series "Outside the Lines." One special brought attention to accusations of Iraqi torture against its athletes.

ESPN won for its "Baseball Tonight" program, and ESPN2 won two awards for "The Compleat Angler." The network and ESPN2 shared the technical award for its "shotspot" tennis innovation. "SportsCenter" won two awards, including one for Flight 93 on Sept. 11.

HBO won five other awards, including outstanding studio show for "Inside the NFL" and edited sports series or anthology for "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." ESPN had won the award three straight years for its "SportsCentury" series. Cris Collinsworth won for best studio analyst.

Fox won four awards - two for coverage of the Super Bowl and NASCAR, and for play-by-play announcer (Joe Buck) and event analyst (Tim McCarver).

The lifetime achievement award went to Roone Arledge, the groundbreaking ABC executive who launched "Monday Night Football" and oversaw expanded coverage of the Olympics; he died of cancer Dec. 5 at 71.

Recipients for the 24th annual ceremony were judged by panels of peers in 28 categories.

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Olympics coverage carries NBC to 13 Sports Emmys
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