Sports Broadcasting School Program Information
Learn about associate and bachelor's degree programs in sports broadcasting and sports communication. Explore courses and admissions requirements, along with national employment statistics and examples of job titles.
Undergraduate degree programs in broadcasting, journalism and communications might offer concentrations or majors tailored to the needs of prospective sports broadcasters or announcers. There are many opportunities to gain practical experience in these programs, while also learning about television production, speech, editing, news writing and sports culture. A high school education is standard for admission, and related experience could be beneficial. Graduates of 2-year associate and 4-year bachelor's degree programs in sports broadcasting might seek employment as sports reporters, commentators, writers, announcers and more.
Associate Degree in Sports Announcing or Broadcasting
High school graduates or GED holders may choose to enroll in an associate degree program in sports announcing or broadcasting. Students learn the fundamentals of broadcasting through hands-on courses in radio and television production and apply these skills through co-curricular positions and internships with campus broadcast media outlets.
Additionally, students acquire news writing and reporting skills, and perfect their public speaking and diction so they may serve as on-air talent. In programs specifically designed for prospective sports broadcasters, students may take classes in commentary for specific sports and often call the play-by-play for campus sporting events, host radio shows or produce sports discussion shows for campus television. While some students may pursue a media career with a 2-year degree, others may choose to transfer to a 4-year institution after earning an associate degree.
Associate degree-level sports announcing or broadcasting programs introduce students to mass media and communications theories, but they also focus heavily on technical production skills and the creation of media content. A typical degree curriculum might include the following classes:
- Television and video production
- Radio and studio production
- Broadcast announcing
- Sports announcing and commentary
- News writing
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate degree prepares individuals for entry-level and technical positions in broadcasting, usually in smaller markets and cities (www.bls.gov). The BLS said that broadcasting is a competitive industry, especially for on-air talent occupations and for positions in large cities. Additionally, the BLS noted that many broadcast media employers expect applicants to hold bachelor's degrees and have technical production experience. Education and training in sports broadcasting may lead to the following career options:
- Sports commentator
- Radio show host
- Broadcast announcer
- Sports reporter
- Sports director
Bachelor's Degree in Sports Communication
Students pursuing bachelor's degrees in sports communication study the full spectrum of communications activities as they relate to the sports industry, including broadcasting, journalism, public relations, media management and marketing. Foundational courses in sports communication and rhetoric accompany courses in journalism, photography, audio and video production, mass media and writing.
On the technical side, students gain skills in post-production, Web and multimedia graphics, animation and nonlinear editing. These degree programs also provide opportunities to gain real-world experience through on-campus radio, television and newspaper positions, as well as internships with regional and national media outlets, sports teams or other professional organizations.
Sports communication bachelor's degree programs emphasize communication theory and techniques for a wide variety of groups and audiences, as well as the influence of sports and communication on contemporary society. The following classes are often included in a bachelor's degree program in sports communication:
- Sports writing and reporting
- Public relations
- Speech communication
- Business communication
- Sports rhetoric
- Sports in society and culture
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Overall, the BLS estimated slow job growth in the broadcasting industry for the 2008-2018 decade, which is attributed to changes in media options, technological advances and consolidation of broadcast media outlets. Unfortunately, the BLS predicted a four percent employment decline for radio and television announcers and a six percent employment decline for broadcast news analysts, reporters and correspondents from 2008 to 2018. Prospective sports broadcasters, announcers and reporters can enhance their employment opportunities by honing both production and on-air skills, seeking initial employment at small stations and pursuing internship opportunities to gain additional work experience, the BLS noted.
As of 2010, the BLS reported that radio and television announcers earned median yearly wages of $26,850; however, there was wide variation between salaries depending on the employer. For example, announcers employed by radio and television broadcasting companies earned an average salary of $38,610 per year, while those employed by cable or subscription programming services earned average yearly wages of $59,650, the BLS reported. The highest average salaries listed by the BLS went to announcers for spectator sports, who commanded average annual earnings of $79,050.
Similar salary variations were reported in BLS figures for other broadcast media and journalism careers. Reporters and correspondents for newspapers earned mean wages of $38,420 per year, while those employed by radio and television broadcasting companies had yearly average salaries of $53,590, the BLS said. The BLS said broadcast news analysts working for radio and television outlets earned an average of $75,720 per year in 2010.
Continuing Education Information
For bachelor's degree holders interested in obtaining additional education, a master's degree in broadcasting, journalism or another media field could be an acceptable option. Though rare, some schools have begun to develop or offer master's degree programs with a sports broadcasting or journalism emphasis, which may indicate a future academic trend.
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