NBC Sports is the winner of the Media Eclipse Award for Television - Live Racing Programming for its telecast of the 2012 Kentucky Derby. The 2 1/2 hour program at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on 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. "It is a day that uniquely combines atmosphere and competition. From the 20 horses and their connections, to Millionaires Row and the raucous infield, Derby Day has something for everyone and it is our job to cover the many layers of this great event. 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'.
NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage delivered an array of race reporting and insightful background stories on many of the 20 starters in the race, and 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 than more 160,000 in attendance.
Honorable mention in the National Television - Live Programming category also went to NBC Sports for its live broadcast of the Breeders' Cup Classic from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., which aired on November 3.
Judges for the National Television - Live 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.
ESPN is the winner of the 2012 Media Eclipse Award in the Television-Features programming category for the story "Notinrwildestdremz" on its news-magazine show E:60, the story of a rescued and neglected Thoroughbred filly who makes a dramatic recovery to become a racehorse. The feature segment, which aired on October 30, was produced and directed by Heather Lombardo and can be viewed here. This is fifth Media Eclipse Award in the Features category won by ESPN.
"It's a great honor to win an Eclipse Award," said Lombardo, a Features Manager at ESPN since 2000. "To be recognized on the same night as the elite horses and people who make a historical impact on Thoroughbred racing is a huge thrill."
Written and narrated by seven-time Media Eclipse Award winner Bill Nack, the story of "Notinrwildestdremz" began on April 8, 2009 with the raid on Center Brook Farm in upstate New York and the discovery of 177 abandoned and malnourished horses. The local Humane Society took care of the horses and put them up for adoption. Of those interested in adopting were Angelica Hala-Kerr and her husband Sean Kerr of Brooklyn, N.Y., who adopted three of them, one of whom was a to be named Notinrwildestdremz.
Honorable mention in the Television - Features category went to HRTV for "Inside Information", featuring a documentary on the Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez and his recovery from injury.
Judges in the Television - Features category were Jim Bannon, Television Commentator at Woodbine Entertainment Group; Peter Lasser of Lasser Productions, and Howard Sudberry, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Arlington Park, and former sports director at WBBM-TV in Chicago.