The smart way to build your basketball play-by-play demo

We’re right in the middle of basketball season. I hope the team for which you broadcast is doing well. It’s always more fun to call games for a winner.

The season’s midway point is a good a time to start thinking about updating your basketball demo.

Here are some tips for how you should put it together, whether it’s radio or TV.

1. Highlights

Put your best stuff first to entice the employer to want to hear more of your work. Start with three or four highlights totaling 45 to 60 seconds.

2. Extended sample

Anyone can sound good in highlights. To convince an employer of your greatness, follow the highlights with a continuous 8 to 12-minute sample of basketball play-by-play.

The extended segment will convince an employer that you address the various fundamentals — from time and score, description and pinpointing the ball, to recapping and using your voice as an instrument.

Put the highlights and the continuous segment on the same audio or video file.

Don’t use dramatic, late-game sequences in your extended segment. Anybody can make those sound exciting. Instead, something from the second or third quarter tends to work well.

If there is a commercial break in your preferred segment, edit it out.

3. Include an analyst . . . or don’t

Some folks wonder if they should include an analyst on their basketball demo. It depends on the level of basketball job for which you’re applying.

If you’re applying below the NCAA Division II level, it’s not mandatory to have an analyst because it’s not assumed you’ll be working with one. If you’re applying for a D-II job or above, you certainly want to include an analyst because you’re going to be working with one on the broadcast.

I hope those tips help. If you have questions, please put them in the comments section below. I’ll be glad to answer them.


  1. John Vicari

    Can a broadcast open be included?

    • Jon Chelesnik

      Yes, and you’ve actually pointed out a flaw in my post. A TV play-by-play demo should start with you on camera.


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