4 tips to instantly help your color analyst sound great

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Consistently broadcasting play-by-play with the same analyst helps make your broadcasts sound great. You can anticipate when your partner is going to speak and he knows when you need to have the mike back.

Unfortunately, consistently working with the same analyst is more the exception than the rule, especially in the early stages of a play-by-play career. What can you do when working with someone new to still make your broadcast sound good?

Here are four tips to instantly help your analyst sound great.

1. Clarify roles

Your job as the play-by-play guy is to describe what happened. Your analyst’s job is to explain why it happened. Be sure your analyst knows this before you even go on the air. It sounds terrible when an analyst’s comments go too long, and he takes over play-by-play for the next play.

2. Provide guidelines

Again, before you go on the air, tell your analyst what you expect from him. Correcting him during the broadcast will create animosity. For football, tell him to finish his comments by the time the offense breaks the huddle.

For basketball, tell him his opportunities to speak are when the ball is in the backcourt and during dead ball situations like free throws and time outs.

And whatever he does, tell your analyst to never talk over you! Even oohing and ahhing in the background during a big play sounds horrible.

3. Make your analyst the star

Your analyst is likely a former player or coach. He’ll see things that you can’t. Cultivate that. Make your analyst the star. It will make both you and the broadcast sound better.

4. Go to lunch

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “To know me is to love me.” If your analyst doesn’t already know you, take him to lunch. Build rapport. It’s a great time to clarify roles and provide guidelines. Guys who get along off air sound good on air. Think Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

These quick tips will yield immediate results.

I would love to hear what you have to add to this list of suggestions. Please add your ideas below. I look forward to reading them!

Photo credit: acme401 via photopin cc


  1. Mark Plemmons

    Good advice! You are right about being better to work with same analyst over time too.

  2. Matt Gajtka

    No. 4 is so important. When you both realize that the other person has your best interests in mind, it makes for a looser, better broadcast. My favorite tandems sound like they’re just friends making conversation.

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