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 2017, 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 25, 2018. 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 25, 2018.
The final deadline for all other entries is the close of business (5:00 PM EST) on Thursday, February 8, 2018.

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 8, 2018 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.

  • After a decade of holding the entry fees static, fees now increase $25 for all categories. Program, Feature, New Media, Special Classification, Promotion and Spanish-Language categories: $400; Personality and Craft categories: $300
  • The format of this Call for Entries has changed, with summaries highlighting the key rules and procedures, including the list of eligible job titles associated with each category. These summaries do not preclude any aspect of the official rules and, if there are any discrepancies, the written rule text takes precedence.
  • The categories Outstanding Studio Design/Art Direction and Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction have been combined into the category Outstanding Studio or Production Design/Art Direction. The Studio Design category has seen a declining number of entries the past two years, necessitating the change.
  • Stage Managers are now eligible in the “live” sports and studio categories.
  • In the Outstanding Sports News Anthology category, up to eight (8) excerpts will be allowed on the entry video presentation. A one year trial, this change was made to allow for better presentation of longer feature stories that make up these telecasts.
  • 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. The video submission for these three categories must be uploaded as well to the entry website by the deadline for review purposes.
  • If a production is not wholly-produced by the network or entity that enters it in the Sports Emmy® Awards, “World Feed” Executive Producers, Producers and Directors must be entered as statue-eligible individuals. 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 levels may be required to confirm eligibility.
  • Revisions have been made regarding limiting the number of individuals entered for the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award and the method of verifying their qualification. The quota for the number of innovators who may be entered as statue-eligible remains at 10, but a detailed paragraph of the duties and contribution for each of the innovators entered must be included by the entry deadline for review by the National Awards Committee for all entrants in this category. (In the past, an explanatory paragraph for under 10 innovators was not necessary.) A petition may be made for a quota waiver in cases where a substantial contribution by more than 10 individuals calls for their consideration. The term “Innovator” is 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.
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