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No April Fools: NBS Sports Wins First Ever Peabody Award

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 6:28 PM, under ,

Athens, GA (April 1, 2009) - Over at the University of Georgia, a group of people assemble each year to consider entries for the George Foster Peabody Award. Unlike the Emmy or Oscar Awards, this recognition is based on merit and judging, and therefore means a lot more.

This year NBC Sports was recognized with the award for their coverage of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. This was the first time in the long history of the award that NBC Sports has been honored, and the first time Olympic Game coverage has been honored in 33 years. Previously, the 1972 Summer Games and the 1976 Summer and Winter Games had been honored.

"I'm thrilled to see NBC Universal recognized with three Peabody Awards," said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal. "In this business, it's all about the content. The fact that we were honored in three distinct genres – news, sports, and entertainment – is a terrific credit to the quality of the work we do and the people who do it."

The Peabody organization called the broadcast of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony "an exponential magnification of what was once known in television as a 'spectacular.'" The Beijing Opening Ceremony was crafted and choreographed by creative director Zhang Yimou, executive produced for NBC by Dick Ebersol, produced by David Neal, and directed by Bucky Gunts.

NBC drew a record audience for the Ceremony. In the nearly 50 years of televised Olympics, NBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremony in Beijing was the most-viewed ever for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics, with nearly 70 million total viewers. It is estimated that nearly 2 billion people worldwide watched the Opening Ceremony.

Related Link(s)

The Official Peabody Awards Site

Peabody Medallion Image Courtesy of the University of Georgia

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