New York, NY (Sports Network) - NBC Sports has been recognized for the eighth straight year with the Media Eclipse Award for National Television - Live Programming for the broadcast of the 2008 Preakness Stakes.
"We are extremely proud of the high standards and passion which our production team and talent demonstrated in winning this prestigious award," said Sam Flood, coordinating producer of NBC Sports and producer of the Preakness telecast. "Tom Hammond (co-host) set the tone for our show in delivering the stories which make Thoroughbred racing so great, and once the race began, director David Michaels and his team took charge."
The two-hour broadcast aired on May 17, 2008 from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby victory of Big Brown and tragic death of the filly Eight Belles, the Kentucky Derby runner-up.
"We felt that it was important to address the Eight Belles issue and its impact on racing before getting to the story of the Preakness," added Flood. "It was essential to cover the story from all angles."
The telecast was hosted by Bob Costas and Hammond, who were joined by analyst Gary Stevens, handicappers Bob Neumeier and Mike Battaglia, and reporters Donna Brothers and Kenny Rice. Tom Durkin was the caller of the race which was also won by Big Brown. The Preakness telecast was produced by Flood and directed by David Michaels. Dick Ebersol and David Neal were executive producers.
A roundtable discussion produced by Rob Hyland and Bruce Cornblatt began the program with an overview of issues facing Thoroughbred racing. The roundtable discussion, monitored by co-host Costas, with Eight Belles's trainer Larry Jones, Bill Rhoden, columnist for The New York Times, Dr. Larry Bramlage of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and NBC racing analyst Gary Stevens. The program also included interviews with NTRA President Alex Waldrop and Big Brown's trainer Rick Dutrow.
The Eclipse Awards are distributed by The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association.
The 38th Annual Eclipse Awards will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, FL.