How Much Do Sports Broadcasters Make?

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

Sports broadcasting can be a lucrative career. Salaries may start low but can increase over time with education and experience. Learning more about the salary and skills necessary to become a sports broadcaster will help you determine if it is the right job for you. In this article, we provide you with salary information and the skills needed to become a sports broadcaster.

What is a sports broadcaster?

Sports broadcasters, also called sports announcers, sports anchors or sportscasters, provide information and analysis for sporting events. TV and radio broadcasters are the most common, but some announcers create blogs, podcasts or videos about games, players and other related topics. Sports broadcasters might comment on live games, interview players or provide post-game analysis.

Work hours depend on the type of broadcasting in which they engage. Broadcasters commenting on live sports will need to be available for games outside of traditional daytime work hours. Some broadcasters are also responsible for operating video or audio equipment as they work or editing their material for publication. The ideal sports broadcaster should have knowledge in journalism, broadcasting or communications. Additionally, they need in-depth knowledge of the sport on which they report.

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Average sports broadcaster salary

Salaries for sports broadcasters depend on education, years of experience and the level of sport. For example, sports broadcasters working for high school sporting events may make less money than those covering professional sports. The type of sport could also affect salaries. On average, sports broadcasters make $38,456 per year. The average annual salary range for sports broadcasters in the U.S. is $14,000 to $92,000 per year.

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Top sports broadcaster salaries by state

Every state has a different demand for sports broadcasters, which impacts their salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following states offer the highest average salaries for their sports broadcasters:

  1. South Carolina: $49,430 per year

  2. North Carolina: $50,600 per year

  3. Illinois: $52,020 per year

  4. Oregon: $52,790 per year

  5. Ohio: $53,010 per year

  6. Wisconsin: $53,020 per year

  7. Utah: $55,280 per year

  8. Florida: $56,960 per year

  9. Georgia: $57,400 per year

  10. Maryland: $57,430 per year

  11. Idaho: $58,430 per year

  12. Massachusetts: $66,730 per year

  13. New York: $74,220 per year

  14. California: $78,840 per year

  15. District of Columbia: $85,030 per year

Skills to become a sports broadcaster

Sports broadcasting requires a specific set of skills. The better trained and prepared you are, the higher your salary will be. If you're interested in becoming a sports broadcaster, focus on developing these abilities:

  • Public speaking

  • Sports knowledge

  • Audio/visual expertise

  • Writing

  • Researching

  • Interpersonal skills

Public speaking

The main duty of a sports broadcaster is to talk. Whether they are commenting on a live game, interviewing a player or discussing game highlights with colleagues, excellent communication skills are vital. Many high schools and colleges offer public speaking courses. If sports broadcasting is a career you are interested in pursuing, take the time to hone your ability to speak clearly and engage your audience.

Try recording yourself to take note of your speed of speech, how clearly you talk and your facial and body expressions. You can also ask trusted friends or family members to give you constructive feedback.

Sports knowledge

A technical knowledge of the rules and regulations of specific sports is a necessary skill to have as a sports broadcaster. Broaden your prospects by studying a variety of sports. Even if there is a specific sport that you know best, make an effort to learn the rules of a few other sports to increase your chances of finding a job. In addition to the rules, make sure you familiarize yourself with current players, coaches and statistics. This can be done by playing in a sports league, watching professional sports or even studying athletics in high school or college.

Audio/visual expertise

Sports broadcasters often share their knowledge through radio or television. A working knowledge of the equipment needed to create an effective audio or visual broadcast will improve your chances of finding the perfect position. Practice working with microphones and cameras. Make sure you operate your equipment while commenting for a solid on-air performance.

Additionally, it helps to have a good understanding of how to edit audio and video files. If your piece is prepared ahead of time rather than live, you may have to edit out errors or extra material for the final product. Most personal computers have the ability to handle all of these demands. Online tutorials are a great way to begin learning.

Writing

While the bulk of a sports broadcaster's work during a live game may be improvisational based on what's happening on the court or field, most sports broadcasters prepare some comments, facts or questions to keep their audience interested and entertained during a game. Those sports broadcasters who conduct interviews or provide analysis must prepare written remarks more regularly. Strong writing skills are vital for this profession. Study scripts for radio and television written by other broadcasters to learn if it's best for you to have an outline or a collection of notes you can refer to.

Researching

Sports broadcasters may be called on to present information about statistics or historical events in their field. They may need to profile a player or coach before an important game. This requires a fair amount of research. Familiarize yourself with reputable sources for gathering facts. Researching may include watching past games, reading through old statistics and game records or even interviewing people. This skill integrates directly with writing. Practice researching a specific topic and writing a clear, concise summary of it to present in a broadcast.

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Interpersonal skills

To be a successful sports broadcaster, you need to have excellent interpersonal skills. Many sports broadcasters work with colleagues to comment on a game. Maintaining good rapport and ease of conversation will keep your audience engaged. Additionally, it will be important to keep your subjects comfortable during interviews. This is a skill that can be easily practiced independently. Take time to converse with others, and ask meaningful questions during these conversations. Interview friends or family about an interest or passion of theirs.

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