Commentating Jobs in the Sports Industry: A Quick Guide


Sports commentating is an integral part of the sports industry, responsible for providing engaging narratives and analysis of live events, making them more exciting for viewers. Commentators come in various forms, from play-by-play announcers to color commentators and analysts. This guide explores the sports commentating sector, diving into the roles, job opportunities, salaries, skills required, and tips for landing a job in this competitive field.

Role of Commentating Professionals in the Sports Industry

Sports commentators play a significant role in the sports industry, as they provide real-time analysis, descriptions, and insights into games and events. Their job is to capture the essence of the game and convey it in an engaging manner to the audience. They help viewers understand the strategies, tactics, and nuances of the sport, making it more enjoyable for casual and seasoned fans alike.

Types of Commentating Jobs in the Sports Industry

There are various types of commentating jobs in the sports industry, including:

  • Play-by-play announcers: They provide a detailed description of the action as it unfolds, often focusing on the most significant moments of the game.

  • Color commentators: They offer expert analysis and insights into the strategies, tactics, and performance of the teams and athletes.

  • Sideline reporters: They gather information from the field and provide updates on injuries, substitutions, and other relevant news.

  • Studio analysts: They analyze games and events from a studio setting, discussing the highlights and key moments with other experts.

Salaries for Commentating Professionals

Salaries for sports commentators can vary significantly depending on experience, job type, and the level of the sport being covered. Entry-level positions may pay $30,000-$50,000 per year, while junior-level commentators can expect salaries in the range of $50,000-$70,000. Intermediate-level professionals may earn between $70,000-$100,000, and senior-level commentators with extensive experience can earn upwards of $100,000, with top-tier professionals earning well into the six-figure range.

Essential Skills for Success in Sports Commentating

To succeed in sports commentating, professionals need to possess the following skills:

  • Excellent communication: Clear, concise, and engaging verbal communication is essential to captivate audiences.

  • In-depth knowledge of the sport: Understanding the rules, strategies, and history of the sport is vital to provide insightful commentary.

  • Quick thinking: The ability to react to and analyze unexpected events in real-time is crucial.

  • Strong storytelling: Engaging storytelling can make games more enjoyable and memorable for viewers.

  • Adaptability: Being able to adjust one's commentary style to cater to different audiences and platforms is key.

Tips for Landing a Commentating Job in the Sports Industry

Breaking into the sports commentating industry can be challenging, but with the right approach, it's possible to land a dream job:

  • Gain experience via Rebound: Start by working for local teams, schools, or small-scale events to build a portfolio and enhance your resume/cover letter.

  • Network: Connect with industry professionals and attend sports events to make valuable contacts.

  • Develop a unique style: Stand out by developing a distinct voice and commentary style.

  • Stay informed: Stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the sports industry to remain relevant.

  • Create a demo reel: Showcase your commentating abilities with a demo reel, which can be shared with potential employers.


Sports commentating is a dynamic and exciting career path for those passionate about sports and storytelling and communication. With various roles available, such as play-by-play announcers, color commentators, sideline reporters, and studio analysts, there is a position to suit different skill sets and interests. Salaries can be rewarding, especially for experienced professionals, and opportunities for growth and advancement are abundant.

To excel in the sports commentating sector, individuals must possess excellent communication skills, in-depth knowledge of their chosen sport, quick thinking, strong storytelling abilities, and adaptability. Breaking into the industry can be challenging, but by gaining experience, networking, developing a unique style, staying informed, and creating a compelling demo reel, aspiring commentators can increase their chances of landing a job in this competitive field.