By Lynette Rice and Brian M. Raftery
Updated November 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Did Fox play fair when it aired Emmy winners during the seventh game of the World Series? The decision rankled CBS execs, who noted that it spoiled the surprise for viewers on the West Coast, where the Yankees-Diamondbacks game (right) ran live but the Emmys were tape-delayed. Traditionally, competing networks run repeats on Emmy night to support the industry’s main event. (The broadcast itself rotates among the Big Four.) But the Emmys have never run during a sweeps period before. Fox Sports head David Hill says he got the idea when Ellen DeGeneres joked that she’d offer updates of the game’s score (she did it once) but Fox wouldn’t tell viewers who’d won an award. Hill took the bait, CBS suits at the Emmys learned about it backstage, and an angry Jack Sussman (CBS’ head of specials) logged a call to Hill. ”Ellen was right,” Hill says. ”It was news, therefore we should be doing it.” Asked about the fracas after the show, CBS president-CEO Les Moonves held his tongue: ”I’m taking the high road tonight.”

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