In sports broadcasting, a sports commentator gives a running commentary in real life or real time about a sport. Usually, this is done during a live broadcast on television. The broadcast is normally a voiceover and the main commentator is rarely seen on screen if at all. In American English, other common terms for a sports commentator are announcer and sportscaster. In actuality, a sportscaster may just refer to a newscaster covering the latest news about sports.
Types of Sport Broadcasters Play-by-play announcers are the primary speakers, valued for their articulateness and for their ability to describe the events of an often fast-moving contest. Colour commentators, which serve as assistants to the primary speakers are valued for experience and insight into the game, and are often asked questions by the play-by-play announcer to give them a topic for analysis.
The latter most often have gained their experience in the sport as a player or coach, while the former is more likely to be a professional broadcast journalist than a participant in the sport. The more common format is to use both types of commentators in order to provide a better-rounded experience for the audience. For example, NBC Sunday Night Football in the United States, which Cris Collinsworth, a former American football receiver, and Al Michaels, a professional announcer announce for.
In the United Kingdom however there is a much less distinct division between play-by-play and colour commentary, although two-man commentary teams usually feature an enthusiast with formal journalistic training but little or no competitive experience leading the commentary, and an expert former (or current) competitor following up with analysis or summary. There are, however, exceptions to this.
For example, all of the United Kingdom’s major cricket and snooker commentators are former professionals in their sports, while the legendary Formula One racing commentator Murray Walker had no formal journalistic training and only limited racing experience of his own. Another difference between the two types is that colour commentators will usually announce only a sport in which they played or coached, while play-by-play announcers, such as Michaels and David Coleman in the UK, may have careers in which they announce several different sports at one time or another.