My passion and focus as a sports broadcaster and educator is to identify and/or assist those who desire to become a professional-amateur and professional sportscaster. The difference between the two is basically one of commitment. The pro-am sports announcer may typically do a game a week in one or two sports more, or less, as a hobby. The professional sportscaster typically may cover several games a week, year round and supplement or compliment their income in whole or in part providing these services.
It immediately becomes evident that either the part, or full, time sportscaster has a passion for what they do. In fact, all the sportscasters that I know began their careers with a love of sports and a passion to announce sporting contests.
When is the best time to begin following your passion? Let me answer that question with another question. “What’s stopping you from beginning right now?”
A major problem of “HOW DO I BEGIN?” soon becomes very apparent after the decision to pursue a part-time or full-time career in sportscasting is made. “How do I begin?” The answer has changed with the times for reasons including the following:
Yesterday: From sportscasting’s beginning up to the late 1990’s;
- Item: The typical “wantabee” sports broadcaster had only a limited number of broadcast distribution channels available to them including radio, television, cable or closed hardwired telephone networks.
- Item: The working model of sports broadcasting at this and prior times was usually subordinate (remote) to a control facility (studio) that directly selected and caused the sports broadcast to go out “over the air”. The sportscaster and the “board” operator located at the studio facility may have been miles apart, but by necessity, had to work closely together to coordinate the overall game presentation to the targeted audience. If everything worked and the sportscaster’s play by play was integrated with the stations commercial inventory and protocols at the “studio”, the listener could be at the game through his or her mind’s eye. However, the resulting sportscast was often, annoyingly and frustratingly interrupted by no or mis-communications between the remote and studio sites. It wasn’t uncommon for the audience to miss significant sports play action during a commercial break. (Reference history of sportscasting located elsewhere in this blog)
- Item: Only large media organizations could participate in producing sporting events due to high broadcasting cost. These organizations controlled and commanded the entry portals to who entered the field of sports broadcasting.
Today: From the early to mid-2000’s to today;
- Item: The typical broadcaster has multiple media distribution channels available to them costing anywhere from little or nothing to very substantial amounts.
- Item: Surprisingly and unfortunately, many broadcasting schools and many large media organizations continue to utilize the traditional sportscasting model described above with fewer interruptions due to advancements in communications technology.
- Item: An important paradigm shift has occurred in the past decade in that the individual can access major distribution channels on their own, often with minimal capital investment.
Tomorrow; A bold look forward
- Item: The old adage “Who knows what tomorrow may bring.” definitely holds true in the area of sports broadcasting. Who could have guessed, only a few years ago, the explosive use of personal mobile devices such as tablets, pads and smart phones and the effects it has and will have on sports broadcasting. This era of personal information alone will likely create yet another critical paradigm shift in the field of sports broadcasting.
Change is the only constant. All aspects of change MUST be considered in planning for and accessing your sports broadcasting career including: Your commitment – Technology – The Audience – Opportunities – Social Media – Available Distribution Channels – Sports Broadcasting Specialization
“Where Preparation + Opportunity = Success”