The National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences has opted to postpone its two upcoming Emmy ceremonies in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both the 71st Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, set for April 19, and the 41st Annual Sports Emmy Awards, scheduled for April 28, will now take place at a later date.
The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards was set to take place in April 19 to kick off the National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show, but that event has already been canceled. The Sports Emmys was to be held in New York, in the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
“Today we made the difficult decision to postpone the 71st Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards dinner in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic,” NATAS President & CEO Adam Sharp said in a statement. “In consultation with health officials, award recipients, and other prospective attendees, we determined that it was no longer prudent nor viable to move forward with our ceremony. The NAB Show has been a wonderful home for the Tech Emmys, and we intend to reschedule the ceremony to correspond instead with NAB’s fall convention in New York.
“We are closely monitoring public heath authorities’ guidance, seeking feedback from our awards communities, and evaluating the flexibility of our venue and production partners as we make determinations around these other events based on day-to-day developments.
“In every case, the health and safety of our event attendees and staff will remain our paramount concern. We are particularly grateful to and proud of the thousands of NATAS members across America’s local newsrooms who are doing the front-line work of informing the public in this time of anxiety, confusion, and ever-changing information.”
Sports Emmy Award Executive Director Justine Gubar announced the decision to delay the Sports Emmy Awards, “based on government guidance regarding events of 500 people or more during the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus.”
“We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public at this time,” she said. “The entire sports world is experiencing severe disruption and making difficult decisions about how to best serve fans, athletes and business partners. We support the leagues and our broadcast partners in these challenging times and look forward to celebrating excellence in sports television in the future.”
Lesley Visser is set to receive the lifetime achievement award at this year’s Sports Emmys event.
In his statement, Sharp said other NATAS Emmy ceremonies are still on schedule, including the Daytime Emmy Awards on June 12-14 in Pasadena, and the News & Documentary Emmy Awards in September in New York.
NATAS’ decision comes as its West Coast counterpart, the Television Academy, has suspended all in-person Emmy For Your Consideration events for the Primetime Emmy campaign.