Ian Eagle, Sarah Kustok Lead Brooklyn Nets Broadcast Emmy Wins
Producer Frank DiGraci honored among five Nets team Emmys
The Brooklyn Nets broadcast team of Ian Eagle and Sarah Kustok became the first such duo to sweep the New York Emmy Awards for Play-by-Play and Analyst in the same year in the annual awards presented this past weekend.
Eagle and Kustok’s awards were part of a strong showing for Nets broadcasts, which accounted for five of the network’s eight 2020 Emmy wins.
Nets coordinating producer/producer Frank DiGraci won the category of Live Sports Producer, while YES also won for Program Promo — Sports with its Nets Playoff Tease and Graphic Arts: News/Graphics for its Brooklyn Nets Package.
This is the fifth straight win, and the sixth in eight years, for Eagle, who is in his 26th season doing Nets play-by-play. His current streak is the longest ever in this category in New York.
"My goal was to always be in command of the broadcast,” said Eagle last year on the occasion of his 25th season broadcasting Nets games. “I think that's where you can stand out. Fans don't really want to know how the hot dogs are made. They just want to enjoy the hot dog. So I try not to get too deep into process, and I trust my instincts. I view it in a way that if I was at home, would I be enjoying this?
“I try and separate myself in a way from the broadcast and visualize myself sitting on a couch. Would this be entertaining to me? And if the answer is no, then you have to shift gears on the broadcast. If we stray too far away, you've got to get it back on track. The job is a little bit traffic cop, but it's also based on common sense, and having good instincts on what works and what doesn't."
The 2019-20 season is Kustok’s third as YES Network’s primary Nets game analyst, and her eighth with the network, having previously spent five seasons as the courtside reporter. While she has previously been honored as part of YES’ team coverage and nominated for her work as courtside reporter, this is her first individual Emmy win, and she is the first woman to win a Sports Analyst Emmy in New York.
“It’s such a privilege to do this job and have an opportunity to do it, but more so those I work with,” said Kustok. “I could go down the list between Frank DiGraci and Ian Eagle, Ryan Ruocco, (Michael) Grady, the whole entire crew. Within everything I’ve done in broadcasting, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, my favorite part is just the aspect of being around sports, but this role, the idea of what I do in this role, what I’m asked to do in this role, the preparation for this role, is everything I eat up and absolutely love.”
DiGraci is in his 20th season covering the Nets, the last 16 seasons with YES. While he had previously accumulated 13 New York Emmy Awards among 60 nominations, this is his first individual honor in the category.
“These eight Emmys span many of the key categories and speak volumes about the talent, dedication and passion exhibited by our YES Network team,” said John J. Filippelli, President, Production & Programming, and Executive Producer, YES Network. “We are grateful for the recognition bestowed upon us by our peers. We are particularly proud to see Ian and Sarah win in their respective categories, the first time that a broadcast team has won play-by-play and analyst Emmys in the same year in New York. That is quite an accomplishment.”
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