| ||ESPN's SportsCentury, the definitive review of the people and events of sports in North America in the 1900s, was among the winners of the 59th annual George Foster Peabody Awards, considered the broadcast and cable industry's most prestigious prize. This is the first Peabody Award ESPN has received.
SportsCentury - the most extensive documentary project in ESPN's 20-year history - comprised more than 60 hours of programming on ESPN and ABC. The programming was highlighted by a countdown of the 50 greatest athletes of the century, as voted by a blue-ribbon panel of sports journalists and observers. SportsCentury also included four themed specials (Greatest Coaches, Greatest Games, Greatest Dynasties and Most Influential Individuals), six SportsCenter of the Decade programs (one covering 1900-49 with others for each subsequent decade) and Classic Moments (daily vignettes) presented throughout ESPN programming. The research for SportsCentury included more than 1,000 interviews and the collection of more than 50,000 photos and 100,000 newspaper headlines and artifacts.
The 36 Peabody Award winners were chosen from among more than 1,200 entries and were announced by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, which has administered the Peabody Awards program since its inception. The awards will be presented on May 22 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The Peabodys differ from other television awards because they are given solely on the basis of merit, rather than within designated categories. Judging is done by a 15-person national advisory board.