How to Become a Sports Broadcaster

Dec 11, 2019

Learn how to become a sports broadcaster. Research the education, career requirements, and experience required for starting a career as a sports broadcaster.

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  • 0:01 Should I Be a Sports…
  • 0:47 Career Requirements
  • 1:20 Steps to Be a Sports…

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Should I Be a Sports Broadcaster?

Sports broadcasters work as analysts or play-by-play announcers for sports networks or specific teams. Their duties may include presenting news, calling games, and interviewing guests. Broadcasters are primarily employed at the collegiate and professional levels.

While opportunities for work are available in television and radio, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that entry-level opportunities are more likely to be available through small stations. Work might be stressful, with tight schedules and deadlines being the norm for these professionals. Sports broadcasters typically work indoors within climate controlled studios or booths.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree is preferred
Degree Field Broadcasting, communications, or related fields
Key Skills Strong communication and speaking skills; ability to improvise; must be able to meet deadlines; be able to work in a collaborative team environment
Median Salary (2015)* $30,960 (for all radio and television announcers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Job Postings (October 2012)

Steps to Be a Sports Broadcaster

Do you want to know how to be a sports broadcaster? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor's Degree

Many sports broadcasters earn a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, communications, or a closely-related field. These 4-year programs equip students with the knowledge and skills required of the occupation, such as effective communication and familiarity with the production process. These curricula may include courses in audio production, mass media, broadcast journalism, media writing, and communication law.

You will want to gain experience as soon as possible. While in college, opportunities may be available to announce games and work for college radio and television stations. Working for the school's radio or television station will provide valuable practical experience.

You will also want to create a demo reel. Any recordings made during school can be put on a reel that can be sent out to prospective employers when applying for jobs. This will allow you to showcase your skills.

In addition, you must be knowledgeable about sports. While playing sports at the collegiate or professional level may not be essential, understanding the rules, history, and nuances of the game can be helpful.

Step 2: Complete an Internship

Extensive on-the-job training is required for a career in sports broadcasting. Many graduates gain this training through internships with television or radio broadcasting stations. Internships will offer hands-on experience under the supervision of skilled radio and television professionals.

To enhance your opportunities for success, begin networking. Internships may also provide opportunities to establish networks of professional contacts within the sports entertainment industry.

Step 3: Advance with Experience

Aspiring broadcasting professionals may begin their careers in non-broadcasting positions as reporters, equipment operators, or production assistants. Once they have demonstrated a capacity for sports announcing, they may work their way up to on-air sports broadcasting positions and eventually move on to higher-paying positions at larger stations. Some sports broadcasters go on to host their own television or radio shows.

Sports broadcasters work as announcers for sports networks or specific teams. They have college degrees; they are expected to have professional communication and speaking abilities; and they earn a median annual salary of $30,960.

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