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Why Work in Sports Broadcasting


Written by: Brian Clapp, Founder SportsTVJobs.com

The show starts in just 120 seconds. On this night I知 editing our lead story – and I知 not even close to done. My highlight supervisor sits over my shoulder nervously, an associate producer runs in asking if I知 going to finish in time and out of the corner of my eye I can see our lead sportscaster Bob Lorenz on set glancing in my direction just wondering, will he make it?

60 seconds. I致e only been on the job two months and I知 already in the pressure cooker. The clock ticking is like a pounding in my ears. Doesn稚 everyone realize my game went into overtime? I still have to edit this game-winning field goal, send it to the control room, type up this shot sheet and run it out to the anchor desk. I知 not going to make it. I have to make it.

30 seconds. I can feel my peers making wagers. $10 bucks says I fail. Focus. Focus. Done! Full speed I sprint out to the anchor desk slam down the shot sheet just as the opening montage starts broadcasting. As I walk triumphantly back towards my edit bay I notice an approving nod from Lorenz and a thumbs up from my boss in the control room. I知 ecstatic. I know I am meant for this.

Think this life is for you? Outside of the adrenaline rushes and urgent pace, here are five more good reasons to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and media

1. Working in sports broadcasting is not normal, but who wants normal?

My first schedule was Thursday through Monday from 6pm to 2am. Digest that for a second. That means my 努eekend was Tuesday and Wednesday and my day ended when average Americans had already been in bed for 4 hours.

To some this just sounds crazy, for me it was perfect. I could spend all day out in the sun doing anything I wanted and then I壇 spend my evening watching sports, producing TV shows and getting paid for it. Most people spend the best part of the day in an office cubicle, I spent my days playing basketball with my friends.

Even when I got older and had kids, I was able to be an active part of their lives during the most exciting part of the day. The schedule is definitely abnormal, but it works.

2. There are many different types of career paths

There are all types of people that work in sports broadcasting with all different levels of education. There are journalists who aim to become Producers, Writers or Reporters. There are technical experts who become Audio Engineers, Graphics Operators or Technical Directors.

I致e worked with people who have degrees from big schools, small schools, online schools, two-year associate programs. You name it. Some people like to travel and be on the road and 妬n the stories. Others like to work at the home base and stay in studio.

The point is there are exciting options for every personality and experience level.

3: Your work will be seen by LOTS of people

I値l be honest this is both good and bad.

It is incredibly empowering to know that your work is going to be seen by thousands, if not millions of people. It isn稚 like writing a report that three people in your office might read, you are literally sending your work out to millions of TV sets. What a rush.

On the flip side I have made some horrific mistakes that the whole world sees too. That part is not so cool.

4: Meeting famous athletes becomes normal

Athletes are surrounded by fans all the time asking for autographs, bugging them for pictures and generally making their lives less normal. Since they have very few safe havens, one of the unwritten rules of sports broadcasting is that nobody asks for autographs or treats them like a celebrity.

This was very hard for me to grasp early in my career. Meeting Shaquille O誰eal, Joe Montana, Terrell OwensI wanted to explode with excitement! These guys were my demi-gods, can稚 I get a picture?

After a while, you start to realize that while these men and women have special talents, they are actually quite normal. I致e talked sports and just everyday life with Mike Ditka, Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck and many others. When you work in sports broadcasting being around athletes will become a normal part of your life. You aren稚 a fan anymore; you are kind of a peer.

5: Your work can make a difference

Good journalism will make the audience feel something; great journalism will inspire them to do something.

When I worked at CNN/Sports Illustrated our investigative journalism team reported the misdeeds of University of Indiana head basketball coach Bobby Knight. We had proof that he choked a player and abused others; and it was CNN/Sports Illustrated痴 report that led to his firing. While many fans were angry at us, our job was to report the truth and let the people decide how to react.

This work led to positive change and that is the power of broadcast journalism.

6: Turn your passion into a career and you never really work

I started college as a Biology and Chemistry double major until one morning when my roommate asked me a simple question 展hy?

I didn稚 have a good answer because I had no idea who I wanted to be. At that moment I knew I needed to find my passion and a career would develop out of that place.

Since that day I have worked overnight shifts, early mornings and late nights and I致e worked on Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. But I know I was lucky to find my place in sports broadcasting, I love what I do, and it rarely feels like I知 working.

Brian Clapp is the founder of SportsTVJobs.com and a 12-year veteran of the Sports TV industry with experience as a Writer, Producer, Video Editor and News Director. SportsTVJobs.com features interviews with sports TV experts, 滴ow To videos , career advice columns and much more.