How to Become a Sports Broadcaster
Learn how to become a sports broadcaster. Research the education, career requirements and experience required for starting a career as a sports broadcaster.
Do I Want to 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.
While there are no specific educational requirements to become a sports broadcaster, a bachelor's degree in communications or a related-field will provide the necessary training to ensure graduates are competitive in the field. Experience playing a sport may also be beneficial. The table below includes the requirements to become a sports broadcaster.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree is preferred*|
|Degree Name||Broadcasting, communications*|
|Experience||Prospective broadcasters may have to intern and work their way up to an on-air position or begin in a smaller market prior to moving up*|
|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**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **Monster.com Job Postings (October 2012)
Step 1: Earn a 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 particular to 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.
- Gain experience. 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.
- Create a 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 an individual to showcase their skills.
- 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.
- 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.
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