In sports broadcasting, a sports broadcaster (also called play-by-play commentator, sports reporter, or play-in-scorer) provides a live commentary of an athletic event or game, often in the live present tense, generally within the last fifteen minutes of the game or match. Considered by many to be among the most difficult sports broadcast jobs in television, sports broadcast has evolved over the years into a highly technical and strategic art form. Sports broadcasting today is not just about reporting and analysis. In fact, it involves so much more than that. Here are some of the things you need to know if you want to become a sports broadcast reporter.
First, you have to be able to tell the audience what you’re reporting or commenting on. You might have the best skills in sports broadcasting as an analyst or game commentator, but if you can’t get your point across clearly, you will only serve as a distraction for the audience. Make sure that you’re aware that, even if you’re not the commentator, you are still a part of the sporting event. If you take your time to get the call of a play or replay right, you could be the hero of the audience and get important feedback from the players or coaches.
Second, being a sports broadcast reporter or commentator requires experience. Unlike other sports anchors, you don’t have to be highly trained in broadcasting and commenting to land the job. You just need to be familiar with the basic terminology and the rules of the sport or match. If you’re going to be a color commentator, for instance, make sure that you know the names of the players or coaches well. Otherwise, if you give out false information about a player or a member of the team, you could be sued for libel.
Third, in order to be a good sports broadcast commentator or reporter, you need to be a good listener. There’s nothing worse than having a conversation with the home plate umpire without hearing the call of the narrator. Similarly, you shouldn’t comment on a play or game without fully understanding what the play is all about. As a result, you should be able to understand the play well and ask the relevant questions. Don’t try to write opinions; rather, write reports.
Fourth, being a sportscaster involves the ability to call plays and relay the information to the viewers. Unlike other sports reporters, a play-by-play commentator usually makes calls from the sidelines during live broadcasts. It is therefore important for the commentator to have good command over the English language. Other than that, the commentator needs to be familiar with the specific terminology of the sport he is covering.
Fifth, unlike other sports broadcasters, game commentators have different responsibilities. For instance, they need to make sure that the league office has released all the necessary information related to a match. They have to inform the audience about any scheduling changes as well. They may also offer their opinion on any play, coach selection, and player injuries.
Some sports broadcast companies offer their employees the opportunity to become color commentators instead of play-by-play amateurs. In addition to offering commentary on games, the color commentator provides highlights from previous matches and asks relevant questions to the host during breaks. Color commentators often work in a broadcasting studio, where they can listen to the game and provide reporting for the broadcaster. Some hosts actually prefer color commentators because it allows him to do two things at once: offer commentary while he is hosting his show and simultaneously offer reports of what he is saying.
Today, many people are becoming more involved in sports broadcasting through the help of Internet video tutorials. Online video producers teach amateur sports broadcasters how to create professional-looking videos using simple tools and techniques. Most online training programs are supported by powerful media players such as Macromedia Flash and Microsoft Video. If you want to be a sports broadcaster, you need to learn how to use these players.
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