Michaels given Lifetime Achievement honor

ESPN leads all networks with 52 nominations for the Sports Emmy Awards, to be held May 2 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in Gotham.

Following the all-sports cabler were HBO with 22 noms and NBC with 20.

ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the World Cup was the most honored event with 12 noms, slightly above the 11 earned by NBC for its coverage of the Vancouver Olympics.

CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, last year’s winner for top play-by-play personality, was nominated in the category once again. He’ll compete against Al Michaels (NBC), Joe Buck (Fox), Bob Costas (MLB Network), Mike Emrick (NBC) and Verne Lundquist (CBS).

In the studio analyst category, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit will defend his title. Charles Barkley (TNT), Tom Jackson (ESPN), Howie Long (Fox), Harold Reynolds (MLB Network) also are nominated.

Event analyst nominees are Cris Collinsworth (NBC), Jon Gruden (ESPN), Orel Hershiser (ESPN), Phil Simms (CBS) and Jeff Van Gundy (ABC).

Other high-profile categories include live series and top documentary. For the former, ESPN took two noms with its college football and “Monday Night Football” franchises, while Fox grabbed two as well. Net scored with its NASCAR and NFL coverage. NBC received a nom for “Sunday Night Football.”

For best doc, ESPN took three of the five slots with “The Two Escobars,” “June 17, 1994″ and “Robben Island: A Greater Goal.” HBO’s “Lombardi” and “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals” also were nominated.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Michaels, whose career includes announcing all of sports’ major championships. He’s also widely know for his historic call, “Do you believe in miracles?” at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., when the U.S. hockey team was on the verge of defeating the heavily favored Russians.

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