They also plan programs, perform interviews and handle some technical broadcasting tasks. To be successful at the job, a sports announcer needs to stay current with what's happening in the sports he covers; he must be an effective and clear communicator; and, she must have a personality that makes the audience want to tune in.
Radio and television announcers with more experience but less name recognition or celebrity tend to earn a smaller starting salary than former professional athletes and coaches. This is due to the effect that announcers have on TV ratings, which drive advertisement sales and keep the network in business.
Radio and Television Announcers ESPN maintains radio broadcasts and television analyst teams across the country to cover the multitude of major sporting events taking place at any one time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May , ESPN and other networks across the country employed 32, radio and television announcers. These financial figures show a 1.
A seasoned commentator may earn much more annually than a new commentator without any experience on the radio or in front of television cameras. These professionals are television personalities just as they're commentators, so the network expects a verbose personality and a certain degree of acting skill to excel as an ESPN commentator.
A commentator with little experience could earn an annual salary in the tens of thousands of dollars, while an experienced commentator could easily earn a six-figure salary.
Former Professional Athletes The starting salary of a professional athlete working as a commentator with ESPN is much higher than a traditional commentator or radio personality.
Former athletes receive this higher salary because of the instant notoriety and ratings boost that athletes' names bring to television programs or game commentaries. Former professional athletes who develop into successful commentators can earn extended contracts valued in the millions of dollars.
ESPN uses former professional athletes for game analysis for a number of professional sports, including basketball, baseball and football. Former Professional Coaches Former professional coaches bring both an air of celebrity and instant authority to a television or radio broadcast.
The knowledge these professionals possess often surpasses existing ESPN commentators who may have not played the game they're commenting on. The salary for former professional coaches is regularly in the millions of dollars, especially if coaches have won championships at the professional or college level.
For example, in , former Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden signed a three-year contract with ESPN that was lucrative enough to keep the former coach in the press box and away from taking a new head coaching job at Notre Dame or the University of Miami.