ESPN Wins Nine Sports Emmy Awards to Again Lead Industry


ESPN Wins Nine Sports Emmy Awards to Again Lead Industry

ESPN Deportes Wins Three, SportsCenter Takes Home Two

ESPN’s Arrotti Wins Chairman’s Award

ESPN won nine Sports Emmy Awards tonight, the most of any network group, as the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the sports television industry honored its best from a year that presented unprecedented challenges.  ESPN also led the industry last year and in 2018.  Leading the way was ESPN’s studio shows, enterprise journalism and storytelling while other trophies were won for technical excellence and promotional efforts.  ESPN has now has won 221 Sports Emmy Awards in 34 years of eligibility.  The ceremony was held virtually because of the pandemic.

ESPN Deportes swept the three Spanish-language categories:  SportsCenter Deportes won for best Studio Show; Pilar Perez, a regular contributor for SportsCenter and Jorge Ramos y Su Banda; was named best On-Air Personality; and Colombia: Greenland took honors as the best Feature.  Colombia aired as part of Spanish Heritage Month and was a four-part series produced by ESPN Originals that highlighted some of the most exotic and inaccessible soccer fields on earth.

SportsCenter won in the best Daily Studio Show category, its fifth all time, including two before the category was split into daily and weekly.  The year-end special SportsCenter Presents:  2020 – Heroes, History and Hope was honored as best Edited Special.  The three-hour, prime-time event, used the lens of sports to look back at the events of the past year and look ahead to the future.

Two other studio shows were cited.  College GameDay won the Technical Team Studio award, as it did in 2018 and ’19.  Sunday NFL Countdown’s feature Big Mo Show took the honor in the Short Feature category.  The piece profiled Mo Gaba, a young Baltimore sports fan and local talk radio regular, who was blind and died from cancer.

ESPN also won in the Short Documentary category for Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible.  It profiled a Montana Indian reservation where residents are trained to protect themselves against the violence that disproportionately affects women in the Native American community.

A technically innovative commercial, “Predictions,” was honored as best Promotional Announcement.  The promo for The Last Dance, merged SportsCenter video with Kenny Mayne from the 1990s with new audio about the 10-part documentary.

In addition, Gerry Arrotti, ESPN senior director, safety, health and systems was one of 11 recipients across the industry presented with the Chairman’s Award.  It was given to “individuals who envisioned, created & implemented the protocols & procedures that made safe production possible during the pandemic.”

Edited Sports Special SportsCenter Presents: 2020 – Heroes, History and Hope
Short Sports Documentary Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible (ESPN+, ESPN)
Studio Show Daily SportsCenter
Short Feature Sunday NFL Countdown:  The Big Mo Show
Tech Team Studio College GameDay
Promotional Announcement The Last Dance:  Predictions
Studio Show in Spanish SportsCenter Deportes (ESPN Deportes)
Feature Story in Spanish Greenland:  Colombia (ESPN Deportes)
On-Air Personality in Spanish Pilar Pérez (ESPN Deportes)




Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including more than 30 of the Year in Review press releases.
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