The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) is a 501(c)6 non-profit service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy® Award.

The Sports Emmy® Awards honors outstanding achievement in sports programming by conferring annual awards of merit in various categories. The presentation of these awards is intended to be an incentive for the continued pursuit of excellence.

In November 2016, a call for entries is sent to a wide cross section of the television sports community. Entries are solicited from networks, cable companies, syndicators and independent producers. Networks, cable, syndicators, and time buy or barter producers are limited in the number of submissions in the program (4), feature (4), and special classification - innovation (4) categories. There is no limit in the Documentary, Personality and New Media categories, the Promotion category or the Craft categories. Individual crafts persons may submit in the craft categories.

The final deadline for entries in the Outstanding Short Sports Documentary, Outstanding Long Sports Documentary and Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary categories is the close of business (5:00 PM EST) on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Entries in the Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage category must be started on line no later than the close of business (5:00 PM EST) Thursday, January 26, 2017.
The final deadline for all other entries is the close of business (5:00 PM EST) on Thursday, February 9, 2017.

For the majority of categories and areas, entries are screened in February and March in a single round of at-home 'blue ribbon' judging.

Entries are judged by panelists who are certified as peers. Each judge casts a secret ballot. Judges' votes are not shared with other judges or with members or staff of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). They are sent to an accounting firm for tabulation.

The nominees are announced in late March, and posted on our website at www.emmyonline.tv. This year's honorees will be announced at the Sports Emmy® Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.


The following revisions and refinements have been made to the Sports Emmy® Award rules and procedures with respect to previous editions of the rules.

  • A third studio programming category has been added: Outstanding Limited Run Studio Show. This category is open to any limited run sports studio show that airs live or recorded for more than once a week for no more than 90 consecutive days. A majority of the show must originate from the studio or follow a studio format. If there are unusual circumstances relating to the production of the program, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will review its eligibility.
  • While it has been the case for several years, it is now explicit that entries can come from any media platform. Programming originally made available on the internet, or through other digital platforms is eligible in any applicable category.
  • The Outstanding Music Interpretation category has been renamed as Outstanding Music Direction to bring it in line with other Emmy® competitions. This category is open to all music, either specifically composed for a telecast or existing music re-interpreted in a current telecast.
  • Voting will be on a scale of 1 - 10, with "10" being the highest score and "1" being the lowest. Until last year, the voting scale was 1 - 5, with "1" being the highest score and "5" being the lowest.
  • If a submitter intends to enter the Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage category, they must start the on-line entry process no later than Thursday, January 26th. This entry will be reviewed to determine whether it is appropriate for the Edited Sports Event Coverage category or one of the Documentary categories.
  • DVDs are no longer required to be submitted for the Documentary categories. Blu-rays are still needed for the Technical Team Remote, Technical Team Studio and the George Wensel Technical Achievement categories.
  • Irrespective of whether such a feature aired in a telecast, "Behind the Scenes" videos no longer allowed in any craft category other than Technical Team Remote, Technical Team Studio and the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award. Craft categories are to be judged solely on the content applicable to the category (e.g. audio for Audio, graphics for Graphics) as presented to the viewer in the coverage of the sporting event/series in question.
  • Regarding those who are Emmy®-eligible for the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award as an Innovator, the term is now defined as those individuals who invent, make changes, create or introduce new processes, devices, techniques or systems. Generally they are the creators of the innovation, not managers, supervisors, executives, approvers or financiers of the project.
  • Productions must be wholly-produced by the network or entity that enters them in the Sports Emmy® Awards. "Pool feeds" and event coverage primarily produced by "host" broadcasters are not eligible. Subject to review by NATAS, the threshold of "wholly produced" for live and "live-to-tape" productions is four unilateral coverage cameras, talent under the direction of the producer, and graphics and replays controlled by the production team. If requested, a production survey with a camera plot and equipment
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