NBC Sports Wins a Media Eclipse Award

NBC Sports Wins a Media Eclipse Award
Photo: Mallory Haigh
Kentucky Derby 138

NBC Sports has won the Media Eclipse Award for TelevisionLive Racing Programming for its broadcast of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The 2 1/2-hour live telecast from Churchill Downs aired May 5, culminating with the victory of I'll Have Another   in the 138th Run for the Roses.

This is the ninth Media Eclipse Award in the live television category for NBC.

"The Kentucky Derby is one of America's greatest sporting events," said Rob Hyland, coordinating producer of NBC Sports and the producer of the telecast, in a release. "Every Derby has a number of captivating storylines and this year was no exception. Our production team did an excellent job telling the stories of the 138th Kentucky Derby and we are very proud to win this prestigious award."

The 42nd Annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage included features on three-time Derby winning rider Calvin Borel, and Dr. Kendall Hansen, flamboyant owner of one of the pre-race favorites, Hansen. NBC also incorporated celebrity interviews with stars of movies and television from a vantage point overlooking the more than 160,000 in attendance.

NBC deployed a total of 48 cameras throughout the Churchill Downs facility, including 18 hard cameras and 14 handhelds. The network also introduced a POV robotic inside the starting-gate stall of eventual runner-up Bodemeister  . NBC also utilized its overhead camera in replays to isolate the dramatic surge of I'll Have Another, overtaking Bodemeister   in the stretch. The broadcast was punctuated by Donna Barton Brothers' interview on horseback with the excited reaction of winning jockey Mario Gutierrez and the disappointment of Bob Baffert, trainer of Bodemeister.

In addition to Hyland, as producer, the Derby telecast was directed by Drew Esocoff. Tom Hammond and Bob Costas hosted the program and were joined by analysts Gary Stevens, Randy Moss, Laffit Pincay III, and Jerry Bailey. Jay Privman, Kenny Rice, and Brothers were the reporters. Bob Neumeier and Mike Battaglia provided handicapping information and analysis, and Larry Collmus called the race. Catt Sadler of "E! News" and Jeannie Mai of Style Network joined the broadcast as celebrity and fashion correspondents.

Judges for the National TelevisionLive Racing category were: Chris Svendsen of CBS Sports; Stan Isaacs, former Newsday sports television columnist and Thoroughbred racing director; and producer Doug Wren of Wren Productions. Honorable mention in the category also went to NBC Sports for its live broadcast of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park, which aired Nov. 3.

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