14 ways to keep your audience engaged in a blowout

Blowouts. For play-by-play broadcasters, they are as fun as a root canal.

broadcast blowouts

When the game gets lopsided is when you rely most on your prep. Normally, you use only about 15% of the material you have prepared for a given broadcast. In a blowout is when you will use a lot more than that.

14 ways to keep your audience engaged in a blowout

  1. Storytelling. Take your audience behind the scenes. Share stories of life on the road, in the bus and on the plane. (Nothing inappropriate or off-limits, of course).
  2. Describe life inside the clubhouse. Again, no secrets, but stuff like food, music, TV shows, a reading material that is lying around.
  3. Share stories of unusual people, places and things you’ve seen in your career.
  4. Share interesting biographical info about players that you normally don’t have time to get into.
  5. Share funny or interesting stories from around the batting cage.
  6. Introduce your audience to reserves who don’t get playing time – you know, the Jon Chelesnik’s on the team.
  7. Focus on the progress being made by individual players.
  8. Look at what’s ahead on your team’s schedule and explain why it is important.
  9. Discuss stories and issues from elsewhere in the conference.
  10. Share headlines from elsewhere within your sport.
  11. If you are broadcasting for the team GETTING blown out, act as if you were calling the game for the other team. Talk about their guys who are playing well.
  12. Promote upcoming programming – post game show, scoreboard show, call-in show, etc.
  13. Address issues facing your conference or state athletic association.
  14. Keep your energy up. If you sound bored, your audience will be bored.

My friend Bill Rogan once said, “Blowouts give parents of seldom used players a chance to hear their kid’s name on the air. Don’t mail it in if only for those kids who finally have a chance to play.”

Whatever you do, be entertaining. Don’t sound like you want the game to end so you can go home. Harry Doyle – do you hear me?