CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 19, 2014
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How to Become a Sports Commentator

If you possess excellent public speaking skills and have a love of sports, you may want to consider pursuing a career as a sports commentator. Sports commentators are responsible for providing play by play information during sporting events or on a sports radio or television program. Not only do sports commentators provide factual information regarding the game, they also provide opinions regarding plays, scores, injuries, and player stats.

Must Have Skills

Sports commentators are not only reporters, they are public personalities. Finding your unique voice and reporting mannerisms is just as important as having extensive knowledge about the sport you will be reporting on. You also should have excellent verbal communication skills and possess the ability to think quickly on your feet. As situations arise during the game, you must be ready and able to adjust and adapt to events as they occur.

Salary 

Just like with any other career, starting from the bottom may not provide a huge payday, but it will give you the experience and know-how to succeed. If you are just starting out, you may want to first apply to local sports arenas or facilities as a sports announcer. This will help you get more comfortable and familiar with commentating. The average salary for a sports commentator is approximately €20,500; however, if you are offered an opportunity to work with a major network your earning potential will significantly increase.

 

   Job Level

Annual Pay

Entry Level Sports Commentator

€25,941            

Mid-Level Sports Commentator

€51,382

Network Sports Commentator

€2,222,260

Annual Pay Stats

 

Educational Requirements

Though formal education is not required to become a sports commentator, it is recommended. Most sports commentators start out as journalism majors with a strong focus on broadcasting. To break into the industry, an aspiring sports commentator should engage in school activities such as the university newspaper or radio station. This can help you hone your skills as a reporter and also provide you with an outlet to practice speaking with your audience.

Some of the top schools in the UK which offer a degree in sports journalism are University of the Arts in London, Leeds Trinity College, and Southampton Solent University. If you are looking to take another route toward a career in sports commentating, you can also attain a degree in communications and PR.

While attending university, you may have the opportunity to apply for an internship with a sports reporting network. Though these internships are usually unpaid, they allow you to become accustomed to the sports commentator or reporters work environment. Internships also allow for the opportunity to begin networking with other individuals in the industry.

On the Job

In addition to reporting on the current game happenings, a sports commentator should become familiar with team history, player stats, and current events regarding the sport in order to fill in time during game lull periods. When you aren’t commentating, you can also moonlight as a column writer, sports blogger, or broadcast reporter to help you keep abreast of current sports related news. Try not to limit yourself to only radio or TV, to broaden your horizons or get valuable on the job experience you can become a sports announcer for a specific sports arena or facility.

Job Opportunities

Once you secure your degree, you will be qualified for several different careers in the field of sports journalism and reporting. These can include:

  • Sports Journalist
  • News Analyst
  • Sports Recruiter
  • Announcer
  • Sports Agent
  • Sports Broadcaster
  • Sports Writer

As sports media’s reach increases due to internet streaming, podcasts, and satellite radio the sports reporting industry is proliferating. As new sports reporting outlets emerge, demand for on-air talent continues to rise. Currently, the job outlook is bright for those looking o pursue a career in sports journalism and broadcasting, so if you are considering a career in this field now is the time to start working toward your ultimate goal.

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