A Commentator gives a running description of the action in a sporting event. Typically done as a live broadcast, the Commentator carries out their work for radio, television or streaming websites and social media platforms. While a Commentator describes the action, a co-Commentator provides analysis and offers their expert opinion on the game.
Commentators need meticulous preparation ahead of games so they’re able to provide insights, statistics and information about the athletes involved. They work with a production team and take direction from a producer on the day of the broadcast. It’s important that they stay impartial at all times.
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The role requires interaction with high profile athletes. Commentators are expected to interview athletes and also work with retired players who act as co-Commentators.
There are many pathways to becoming a Commentator. An undergraduate degree in English, Journalism or a related field, followed by an NCTJ qualification is beneficial. It’s also possible to receive an MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism. However, experience is deemed most important.
Experience of commentating on sports is essential. Voluntary work with community clubs can often lead to work experience, internships and apprenticeships with companies such as the BBC. Demonstrable ability, shown through previous broadcasts, proves competence to a potential employer. Commentators are also often recruited directly after finishing a professional playing career.