Last summer’s HBO production, “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals,” was announced last night as winner of two Sports Emmy awards. The Sports Emmys were presented in New York by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Employing crews and cameras from NFL Films, Hard Knocks was granted special access to follow the Bengals throughout a 2009 preseason that helped lead the team to a division championship. The insider’s look covered five one-hour episodes, which were aired in August and September.
Hard Knocks won its Emmys for Outstanding Edited Sports Series or Anthology, and for Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound.
“We are proud of what we do and how we go about it,” said Bengals president Mike Brown, “and we’re gratified that it served to make a compelling program for sports television. The hard work of our players and staff was matched in full by the HBO and NFL Films personnel who partnered with us. Their dedication and professionalism was impressive for us to witness firsthand.”
Hard Knocks was as big a hit with viewers as it was with the Academy. Its ratings were the highest among the series’ five seasons, up 57 percent over the 2008 edition.
“We attribute it to the Bengals’ unprecedented access and honesty,” said Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films.