This is quite a strange story making headlines this Saturday.
ESPN has returned 37 Emmy awards after a decades-long scheme was uncovered.
The Los Angeles Times reported employees for ESPN “had been submitting made-up names to the Emmys organization in order to obtain, if they won, more than 30 extra trophies for broadcast personalities who were ineligible to receive them.”
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) told the Times “NATAS identified several fictitious credits submitted by ESPN to multiple Sports Emmys competitions.”
From @TheAthletic: Since at least 2010, ESPN inserted fake names in Emmy entries, then took the awards won by some of those imaginary individuals, had them re-engraved and gave them to on-air personalities.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 13, 2024
Here’s what Yahoo reported:
ESPN has returned dozens of Emmys and disciplined employees involved in a decades-long scheme to secure trophies for ineligible on-air personalities by submitting fake names for consideration, according to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the sports network.
On Thursday, internal investigations conducted by the academy and ESPN found that employees at the sports network had been submitting made-up names to the Emmys organization in order to obtain, if they won, more than 30 extra trophies for broadcast personalities who were ineligible to receive them.
Since at least 2010, ESPN employees attached fake names to awards entries, the network said in a statement, and the scheme may have stretched back to 1997. When ESPN won an award, and trophies were awarded to all names submitted, employees took the extra trophies and had them reengraved with the names of on-air talent.
“NATAS identified a number of fictitious credits submitted by ESPN to multiple Sports Emmys competitions,” the academy, which administers the daytime, sports and news and documentary Emmy awards, told The Times in a statement.
ESPN was forced to return dozens of Emmy awards after it was discovered the network obtained them using fake name entries. @danabrams discusses the network’s terrible start to the year.
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) January 12, 2024
Per News Nation:
ESPN was forced to give back more than 30 Emmy Awards after it was discovered that the network used fake names to get golden statues for top talent on its flagship college football show “College GameDay,” according to reporting by The Athletic.
The outlet says the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the organization that administers the awards, uncovered a scheme the network used to acquire more Emmys for staff ineligible to receive them.
Until last year, on-air talent was prohibited from being included in a credit list in the outstanding weekly show category to prevent “double-dipping” or winning two awards for the same work. ESPN reportedly skirted that rule by adding fake names to the credit list.