While Turner's list of accomplishments is long and varied, including his ongoing philanthropy through the Turner Foundation Inc., it's his early efforts in cable television that contributed most to this award.
In 1976, Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves baseball team and refashioned Atlanta station WJRJ Channel 17 into the TBS Superstation on cable, which carried Braves games coast to coast. In 1977, he purchased the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.
In 1986, Turner founded the Goodwill Games, his attempted rival of the Olympics, and covered the events on TBS. The Games ended after the 2001 edition in Australia.
Additionally, he helped found the pro wrestling organization World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which was eventually purchased by its rival, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), in 2001.
And he also founded CNN in 1980, which has been known to cover sports from time to time.
As for his own personal sporting achievements, Turner skippered his boat, the Courageous, to victory over Australia in the America's Cup sailing race in 1977.
In a statement, Malachy Wienges, chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said, "The world of sports and news television has been forever changed by the vision of this one man."