Sports Broadcasting Jobs
- Segment Producer
- On-Air Reporter
- Content Editor
- Television Director
- Broadcast Writer
- Broadcast Engineer
- Audio/Visual Technician
- Sports Data Analyst
- Sports Talk Radio Host
- Sports Commentator
Sports broadcasting is a popular major on some college campuses. If you enjoy learning more about sports and following local as well as national teams, some of the jobs in this industry might be right for you. Though many think of sports broadcasting careers in terms of the on-air reporters working for stations, this industry includes other types of jobs too.
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One of the sport broadcasting jobs that you might consider is that of a segment producer. This job is good for those who prefer working behind the scenes and those who do not want to go on the air. As a producer, you’re responsible for every little detail that goes into that broadcast. You need to ensure that the reporters are ready, that they have the right information available and that the equipment works. Producers need to work within the budget given by the station or network too.
On-air reporters are the ones who actually give viewers the news and information that they need. With a degree in broadcast journalism, you may gain some experience working for the college station where you went to school. That degree can also help you find an internship for a station and gain more experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for reporters is close to $49,000 a year. The BLS also found that the need for reporters will drop in the coming years, which is why you may want to look at other positions within this field.
Working as a content editor also lets you work behind the scenes rather than in front of the camera. Editors work for radio and television stations as well as for websites. They are the ones who edit work before it reaches a reporter.
Most shows and stations have a team of writers who create the content. Content editors may also produce material for Twitter and other social media sites. Editors go over that work to ensure that it sounds right and that it contains factual information. They may do the fact checking on their own or work with a team of checkers.
Very few shows happen live, but even those that do still use directors. When filming something like a NASCAR race or a basketball game, the director decides which cameras to show on the air and when to send cameras and reporters closer to the action. With shows that networks record in advance, directors are the ones who determine what content to film. They may work with other camera operators and a variety of equipment to ensure that they film all the content necessary for the broadcast.
While enrolled in a broadcast program, you may find that you prefer writing to reporting. Broadcast writers working in the sports industry are those who create the content that reporters use when sitting in front of the camera. They come up with questions to ask in interviews with professional athletes, but they also create the shorter reports given on local news stations. You might find a job working for a major network like ESPN too and helping write content used in a documentary or special show.
One of the more technical jobs in sports broadcasting is a Broadcast Engineer. Broadcast engineers make sure transmission signals meet standards at all times. They monitor broadcast quality and are able to diagnose and fix issues that cause poor transmission. A broadcast engineer needs to know how to set up equipment used to broadcast sporting events and shows. Since many sports are shown online or on television in real time, this is one of the most high-pressure sports journalism jobs. According to payscale.com, the average base salary for a broadcast engineer is $64,827/year.
If you’ve got a knack for working with audio and visual equipment, an audiovisual technician role might be a great fit! A/V technicians work behind the scenes as liaisons between camera operators and the sound team. They make sure that sound is in sync with video footage. While some organizations like Fox Sports may have separate people handling the audio and visual components of a broadcast, many smaller outlets have one person handling both aspects. Payscale reports the average base salary of an A/V technician is $50,889/year.
Sports Data Analyst
Sports data analysts work behind the scenes to provide announcers or commentators with relevant information about players and teams. Their analysis keeps the audience engaged and actively listening. A sports data analyst might use data mining or predictive analytics to conduct their analysis. Ideal job candidates are computer savvy and have a passion for the details in sports.
Sports Talk Radio Host
Radio jobs in sports media are holding steady and, many would argue, may even be on the rise. Sports talk radio, along with podcasts, allow listeners to enjoy real-time sports action from almost anywhere. Sports teams whose games are not televised use radio to reach their audience.
A sports talk radio host must have strong communication skills to be able to interact with their audience. Fans can call in to their favorite radio show and share their opinions or ask questions. The best sports radio hosts develop a strong fan base and following that can be attractive to large networks.
A sports commentator, or sportscaster, delivers a real-time commentary during a sports event. Sports commentators can work for radio or television stations, providing their viewers or listeners with an in-depth explanation of what is taking place on the field.
There are a few different types of sportscasting jobs including:
- Play by play announcer: describe every event on the field or court
- Color commentary: offer expert analysis of what’s taking place including strategy and background information on teams/players
- Sideline reporter: provides commentary from the field or court. They may interview players or coaches and make assessments on injuries
Broadcast journalism changed quite a bit due to the popularity of the internet, and it’s likely that this field will continue changing in the future. While the need for on-air reporters may drop over the coming years, the need for those with strong social media skills will rise. Sports broadcasting jobs include positions in writing and editing.