Edited press release
Sirius Satellite Radio has won the Media Eclipse Award in the Audio and Multi-Media Internet category for live coverage of the 2005 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, while WAVE 3 TV in Louisville has won the Media Eclipse Award for Local Television for its pre- and post-race coverage of the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
In the first-ever national live radio broadcast of all eight Breeders' Cup races from Belmont Park in New York, Sirius devoted eight hours of coverage on Sirius Channel 125, led by co-hosts Dave Johnson and Bill Finley, who were joined by reporters Caton Bredar and Mitch Levites, and analysts Dave Grening, Dick Jerardi, Jay Privman, Gary Selby, Mark Johnson, Nick Smith and Simon Clare.
In addition to pre-and post-race analysis, and Johnson's race calls, the Sirius team conducted on-site interviews with jockeys and trainers throughout the day. The broadcast, which aired Oct. 29, included pre-recorded vignettes titled "Where Are They Now?" featuring interviews with connections of former Breeders' Cup champions.
"It's an exceptional accomplishment by co-hosts Dave Johnson and Bill Finley and producer Ed Pappas, and all of our team at Sirius to win this award," Steve Cohen, vice president of sports programming for Sirius Satellite Radio, said in a release. "It was an extremely demanding challenge to broadcast all eight races of the World Thoroughbred championships, but we had first-rate people on the talent and production side to get the job done."
Honorable mention in the Audio and Multi-Media Internet category went to WBAL Radio in Baltimore for "Baltimore's Last Preakness?" produced by Mark Miller and Mike Wellbrock. The program aired May 21 and dealt with the future of horse racing in Maryland.
Judges for the Audio and Multi Media Internet category were Jim Militello of Associated Press Radio; Brian Rublein, former news director of WHAS Radio in Louisville; and Mike Farrell, a racing journalist and former UPI Radio reporter.
WAVE 3 TV devoted 11 1/2 hours of Derby day coverage, providing viewers with live racing, news features, and celebrity and racing personality interviews prior to the Derby, and a one-hour post-race program later that evening. Among the members of the production team were producer Caroline Dickie and director Brian Reeves. It's the second Media Eclipse Award for WAVE 3 TV, the Louisville NBC affiliate, which was also honored with the 2004 Local Television award.
"We are extremely excited about winning the Eclipse Award for the second consecutive year," said Dan Foos, executive producer of WAVE 3 TV on behalf of the station and the more than 100 personnel who worked on the broadcast. "Our coverage of horse racing isn't just a job; it's a part of life in this city. We believe in balancing our Derby broadcast with knowledgeable reporting for the hard-core fan and to educate the novice who is unfamiliar with the sport. We especially enjoy delivering stories about Louisville residents who work on the backstretch and behind the scenes at the Derby."
Judges for the Local Television category were Jack Coffey of Eclipse Productions; Stu Kirshenbaum of Oak Street Films; and independent film producer Fritz Mitchell.
The Eclipse Awards will be presented Jan. 23 in Beverly Hills, Calif.