Instantly increase your sports talk radio ratings

It’s easy to relate to college males. Most of them love two things above almost all else — money and girls.

When I was teaching a collegiate sportscasting class, I used to tell the guys that the higher their ratings, the more money they’d make and the more dates they would get. Then I would share with them a simple technique for increasing their sports talk show ratings.

sports talk radio ratings

When it comes to sports talk radio ratings, many hosts consider only how many people are listening. You also need to be thinking about how long those folks are listening and how many times you are enticing them to tune in throughout the week. Its called TSL – Time Spent Listening — and it is a critical yet largely neglected ratings component.
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Choosing new demo samples? Don’t stress

Two years into my first job, at KNGL-KBBE in McPherson, KS, I thought I was ready for bigger and better things, so I set out to put together a sports broadcasting demo. As it turned out, I could have flown to Jupiter in less time than it took me to choose the audio that I thought was going to get me the job following the legendary Cawood Ledford as voice of the Kentucky Wildcats.

I must have spent more than 20 hours reviewing football and basketball tapes from the most recent seasons. I would choose segments based upon great action, no verbal stumbles, clever word choices, “signature phrases” (I don’t recommend them, by the way) and smooth delivery. By smooth delivery, I mean I never got so confused or fell so far behind the action that my delivery was punctuated with odd pauses while I was trying to figure things out.
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Sportscasting career advice: always arrive early

When I was in my first job in McPherson, KS, I did football play-by-play for a small NAIA school, Bethany College. One October afternoon, the Swedes had a game up the road in Salina at Kansas Wesleyan. As was my habit, I arrived at the stadium two hours early. I liked taking my time to set-up my broadcast location, review my notes, record my pre-game coaches interview, then relax before going on the air. Today, though, was different.

When I plugged in my phone jack (yes – we broadcast using telephone land lines back in the day), I heard the last thing a broadcaster ever wants to hear in that situation.

I heard nothing.
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7 keys to great basketball play-by-play

Basketball play-by-play isn’t rocket science. Broadcasting the sport is often easier than playing it. With these seven simple tips, providing all-star caliber basketball play-by-play will be even easier.

1. Time and Score

New listeners don’t want to wait. Give it at least every 90 seconds. Pick an end of the floor and give the time and score every time the ball goes to that end.
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Top 20 sports broadcasting schools

Three of the toughest choices you’ll make in life are your spouse, your first round fantasy football pick and where you will attend college to pursue your sports broadcasting career. I can’t help you with the first two, but I certainly can with the third.

Two things to look for when choosing where to pursue your sports broadcasting career:

  • A broadcasting curriculum – even better if there is a sports broadcasting emphasis.
  • A campus radio and/or TV station. You need a place to hone your skills.

waer-syracuseThere is no arguing that Syracuse University is the crème de la crème for sports broadcasting. Just ask them! (Just kidding. The program really is that good.)

In my experience with STAA, I have seen the following schools also turn out sports broadcasters who are unusually well prepared for the job market (They are in no particular order, so don’t yell at me if your school isn’t near the top of the list.) With that in mind, here’s my list.
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How to become a sports broadcaster

The first thing you need to become a sports broadcaster is sports broadcasting experience. You can’t get a job without demonstration of ability.

The college degree route

The best place to get sportscasting experience is in college. Enroll in a four-year school that offers a broadcasting curriculum.
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SCP 06: Road to BCS: Bill Roth

Bill RothVirginia Tech play-by-play voice Bill Roth shares his thoughts on prepping hard versus prepping smart, and discusses the best routes to a major college play-by-play gig.

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SCP 05: Road to the Pros: Bob Carpenter

bob carpenterVeteran Major League Baseball TV broadcaster Bob Carpenter of the Washington Nationals discusses the best road to an NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL broadcast booth and how you can maximize your longevity in the ultra-competitive sports broadcasting industry.

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SCP 04: Road to the Pros: Brian Sieman

brian siemanIn this episode of SCP, Clippers broadcaster Brian Sieman evaluates getting to The League via the NBA D-League, WNBA, colleges and studio host roles. He also shares his thoughts on the play-by-play traits that distinguish NBA broadcasters.

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