01/07/2010 12:00AM

NBC, ESPN Radio earn Eclipse Awards


NBC Sports will receive the Eclipse Award for National Television Feature for a short documentary appearing at the beginning of its May 16 Preakness Stakes broadcast focusing on Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, it was announced Thursday. In addition, ESPN Radio has been named the recipient of the Eclipse Award for Audio/Multi-Media Internet for its live Kentucky Derby broadcast.

The television feature award is the third in the category for NBC, which had previously won in 2002 and 2005. In addition, NBC took seven straight Eclipse Awards for live television, from 2002 to 2008, for its coverage of Triple Crown races.

The winning television feature, "The Story of Mine That Bird," provided viewers with information on the longshot Derby-winning colt two weeks after his open-lengths victory in the race. Mine That Bird was a relative unknown going into the Derby.

"We had to tell the story of how a 50-1 longshot came to win the Derby," said Rob Hyland, the coordinating producer of the feature. "There were so many layers to the story, filled with high drama, that we needed to let the viewers know."

The ESPN Radio broadcast ran for two hours on May 2, 2009, with live coverage of the Kentucky Derby and prerace events. The broadcast was produced by John Martin Sr., the director and executive producer of ESPN Radio Event Production.

"Radio is theater of the mind," Martin said in a statement. "What we try to do with the Derby is place the listener there in the middle of the tremendous excitement and ambient sound of the jockeys, trainers, and the fans."

NBC-TV and ESPN Radio will receive their awards on Jan. 18 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Eclipse Awards are administered by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers Association.