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How to Become a Sports Broadcaster

Majors Overview January 29, 2013

Sports networks and specific teams rely on play-by-play announcements or analysis from sports broadcasters. During the course of performing their duties, they present news, call games and interview guests. Broadcasters are typically employed at professional and collegiate levels. Television and radio stations have job opportunities for broadcasters; however, entry level jobs are only available at smaller stations (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employers do not require sports broadcasters to hold any specific educational requirements; however, completing an undergraduate degree program will give aspiring broadcasters an edge in a highly competitive field. Those who have experience playing a sport are also likely to be preferred. The table below display the requirements needed to pursue a career in sports broadcasting:

Common Requirements

Degree Level

Bachelor Degree

Area of Concentration

Broadcasting, communications

Experience

Potential broadcasters may need to start their career in a smaller market prior to moving up or pursue an internship and work their way up to an on-air position

Key Skills

Ability to improvise, able to work in a collaborative team environment, strong speaking and communication skills, and have the ability to meet deadlines

Stage One: Earning an Undergraduate Degree

Many aspiring broadcasters earn an undergraduate degree program in a related field such as communications or broadcasting. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed in their field by completing these four-year programs. These include getting familiar with the production process and communicating effectively. Coursework could include subject areas such as communication law, media writing, broadcast journalism, mass media, and audio production. Pursuing every opportunity to gain experience will benefit aspiring broadcasters. For instance, during college, students may get opportunities to announce games and work for college television and radio stations. Valuable hands on experience could result from working for the school’s TV or radio station. Creating a reel in the form of recordings made at school would allow prospective broadcasters to demonstrate their skills to potential employers. Being knowledgeable about sports will also go a long way. Students who have not played sports at the professional or collegiate level, they can learn the history, rules, and nuances of a game to improve their job prospects.

Stage Two: Completing an Internship

Extensive hands on training will be necessary, if students want to enjoy a successful career in sports broadcasting. Several graduates garner such experience through participation in internship programs with radio or TV broadcasting stations. Such internships allow the participants to gain supervised on-the-job experience under the watchful eyes of seasoned TV and radio professionals. Networking with professional in the sports entertainment industry is a surefire way of improving an aspiring broadcaster’s career opportunities.

Stage Three: Advancing with Experience

Prospective broadcasters may take their first career step by occupying non-broadcasting positions such as production assistants, equipment operators or reporters. After they have showcased their talent for sports announcing, they can advance to on-air broadcasting positions and eventually join larger stations in high-paying positions. Some remarkably successful broadcasters have gone on to launch their own radio or TV shows.

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