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Sports

Sports commentator

Sports commentators describe what's happening at sporting events and offer their opinions to listeners and viewers.

Annual Salary

£13,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% more Sports commentator jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You could specialise in one sport or commentate on a range of different ones. Typically you would:

  • prepare for an event by researching clubs, coaches or players
  • work with a production team
  • take direction from a producer
  • interview sports professionals
  • report on the action as it takes place and give updates on the scores and highlights
  • describe events in an impartial, yet enthusiastic way
  • work with experts who give their opinion or statistics
  • attend conferences, games and tournaments
  • update your website, blog or social media feed

Working environment

You could work on a sports field, at a recording studio or at a sports arena.

Your working environment may be noisy, crowded, outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
University

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:

  • journalism
  • sports journalism
  • sports business and broadcasting

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
Apprenticeship

Higher apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Level 5 journalist
  • Level 7 senior journalist

For more information
Work

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 work 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:

Look out for work experience placements, insight and talent days with broadcasters like:

The Sports Journalists Association has more ideas about where to look for work experience.

Direct application

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.

More information

Career tips

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 to 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.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in radio sports commentating from The Pips.

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You could move from short-term, freelance contract work to full-time permanent work with regional, national or international broadcasters.

With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter, move into programme making and producing, management, or written sports reporting.

You could join the Sports Journalists' Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

You can find out more about careers in sports commentating from The Pips and BBC Academy.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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