4 Wrong Reasons to Become a Sportscaster

Do you want to become a sportscaster? It’s a wonderful profession. I spent 15 years on the air myself. If you are going to become a sports broadcaster, though, make sure you’re getting into the business for the right reasons.


Here are four of the wrong reasons to become a sportscaster:

1. You want to be rich

Folks who are already working in the industry know the idea of getting rich in sports broadcasting is laughable. In sports broadcasting, if you earn your age, you are doing alright. If you want to have a family, your spouse is probably going to have to work.

2. You want to be famous

Even if you do become one of the better-known citizens in your community, fame doesn’t pay the bills. (It might help you get a date, though!)

3. Sportscasting is easy

Ixnay. Not true. Good sportscasters make it seem easy but it’s not. It’s like singing. A lot of us think we can do it until we actually try it.

I recently challenged my loud-mouthed friend Cory to do one minute of play-by-play from the TV. He quit after 20 seconds. Granted, that is when our pizza arrived but he was clearly running out of steam.

4. Short work weeks

This is another fabulous myth. You don’t just work during the time that you are on the air.

Good sportscasters prepare one hour for each hour of broadcasting. Great sportscasters prepare at a two-to-one ratio. (What makes the prep time extra awesome is that you don’t get paid for it – yeah!) Also, many sports broadcasters work at least six days per week.

In a previous post, I wrote about the great reasons TO become a sports broadcaster. There are a lot of them. Just don’t do it for the reasons listed above.

Am I missing any reasons to not become a sportscaster? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.


  1. George Tharalson

    Jon, in my play-by-play days, I loved doing the research. Balancing a full time job at the radio station as a News Director and doing the sports broadcasts on the side, I would often stay up late especially as more information became available on the internet. Football season was incredibly busy, as for many years I prepared for a high school and junior college game each week. After church on Sunday, that was my only day off. But I loved every minute of it.

    • Jon Chelesnik

      Hi George. I agree with you. Especially when I was doing Arena Football play-by-play, I loved the prep. I would do it at night and found it to be quite relaxing. Where prep bothered me was with my local sports talk show. Thee hours on air, six hours of prep — I was being paid roughly $39 for nine hours of work.

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