This year’s Sports Emmy Awards returned to the tried and true, as four of the top individual trophies went to repeat winners.
Mike Emrick, arguably the best play-by-play announcer in the business, captured a record seventh straight Emmy for his work calling NHL contests for NBC and the NBC Sports Network.
Emrick, who shows no signs of slowing at age 74, grabbed his eighth overall Sports Emmy during virtual ceremonies held Wednesday. The awards presentation, which covered telecasts from 2019, was delayed from April by the covid pandemic.
TNT’s studio coverage of the NBA was especially honored, nabbing three awards. The show, “Inside the NBA,” received Outstanding Studio Show (Weekly) honors, while its host, Ernie Johnson, Jr., was tabbed Outstanding Studio Host, and Charles Barkley received Outstanding Studio Analyst honors.
This was Johnson’s second straight hosting win and his fifth overall, while the irrepressible Barkley won his fourth overall and his second in the last four years.
College football game analyst Kirk Herbstreit got a third straight Emmy for his work for ABC and ESPN. It was his fifth Emmy, though last year’s win was for his double duty on “College Game Day.” Tom Verducci received his first Sports Emmy for sideline reporting for his work on Fox and the MLB Network.
Overall, ESPN led all outlets with eight Emmys, spread between ESPN, ABC and ESPN News. Fox and its related outlets received seven Emmys.
CBS grabbed five awards, most notably for its coverage of the Masters, which was honored as Outstanding Live Sports Special. The network also received Outstanding Live Sports Series honors for its coverage of the NFL and shared the Outstanding Playoff Coverage Emmy with Turner channels for its presentation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight” received the Emmy for Outstanding Studio Show Daily.
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ITEM If the prospect of watching old movies, murder mysteries or sitcoms on your smart TV or phone doesn’t excite you, then news that telecasts of two of the best sports radio talk shows are about to land on a new streaming service should.
Eisen, whose show runs for three hours each weekday starting at noon, makes the move starting Monday, while Patrick, who precedes Eisen at 9 a.m., will make his Peacock debut the following Monday. Eisen’s show will continue to air for a short time on NBC Sports Network before going exclusively to Peacock.
The pair, who had been airing mainly on the Audience Network, a now-defunct Direct TV channel, had been scrambling around for a television home since the Audience Network went dark earlier this year.
Both shows, which are simulcasted on Sirius/XM satellite radio and terrestrial stations, had been streaming on YouTube without commercials. But while their shows will air on Peacock’s free service, it seems likely that there will be some commercial component.
Streaming outlets have increasingly become important components of sports media what with Yahoo, ESPN Plus and YouTube, among other places, airing more and more content.
Along with Patrick and Eisen, Peacock is slated to air coverage from the men’s and women’s U.S. Open golf championships, the upcoming Olympics from Tokyo and Beijing and a wild card NFL playoff game.
Sports Media Analyst
Milton Kent is a veteran of Baltimore and Maryland journalism. Kent began a long association with the Baltimore Sun in 1985, serving as the Evening Sun’s Howard County reporter for 2 ½ years before joining the paper’s features department as an entertainment writer in 1988. In the following year, Kent began covering men’s and women’s college basketball for the Evening Sun, concentrating on the Maryland men’s and women’s teams. He continued covering college basketball when the writing staffs of the Evening and Morning Suns merged in 1991. From there, he covered the Orioles for three seasons before becoming one of the nation’s first fulltime sports media critics for parts of six years. In 2000, he began covering the NBA until 2004, when he launched a high school sports column, which he wrote until he left the Sun in 2008. Kent joined the staff of AOL Fanhouse, an online sports operation in 2009, covering sports media and women’s basketball, until operations ceased in 2011. He then joined the faculty at Morgan State University in the fall of 2011, where he has taught until the present day. In addition to writing for various platforms, including Sports Illustrated.com and TV Guide, Kent has hosted “Sports At Large,” a weekly commentary program airing on WYPR (88.1 FM) since 2002.