Sports announcer, sports presenter, pundit
Sports commentators describe what’s happening at sporting events to listeners and viewers and offer their opinions.
Salary range: £13,000 to £80,000
How to become a sports commentator
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
There is no set entry route to become a sports commentator but it may be useful to get a degree in a relevant subject like:
- sports journalism
- sports business and broadcasting
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a junior journalist.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You could get started by working as a broadcast assistant in a television or radio company.
You’ll need to work your way up from commentating at a local level and applying for promotion when you’ve got more experience.
You’ll need to show employers that you have the sports knowledge and commentating skills that they’re looking for.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll need to have some practical experience and be able to show you have a real enthusiasm for sports commentating.
To get some work experience you could:
- volunteer to commentate on charity events like fun runs
- commentate for amateur matches at schools, college or for local teams
- record commentary for websites or internet radio stations
- volunteer for community, hospital or student radio, or TV
You can get a list of radio stations from:
The Sports Journalists Association has more ideas about where to look for work experience.
You can apply directly to employers if you’ve got some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this job. You’ll usually need a background in sport or journalism.
As a sports professional, you may start off as a co-commentator or summariser, offering a specialist opinion on the action and tactical insights, before progressing to lead commentator.
Competition for jobs is very strong and very few jobs are advertised. Building up a network of industry contacts can help you find out about vacancies.
You’ll need to record examples of your commentating on CD, DVD or online so you can show your skills to potential employers.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Sports Journalists’ Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- knowledge of English language
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be flexible and open to change
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your duties may include:
- preparing for an event by researching clubs or players
- working with a production team
- taking direction from a producer
- interviewing sports professionals
- commentating on events before, during and after the fixture
- working with experts who give their opinion or statistics
- updating your website, blog or social media feed
You could work on a sports field, at a recording studio or at a sports arena.
Your working environment may be crowded, you’ll travel often, outdoors some of the time and noisy.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter, move into programme making and producing, management, or written sports reporting.