Disparity in Play-by-Play Compensation/Hours

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Orangeman
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:15 pm

Disparity in Play-by-Play Compensation/Hours

#1 Post by Orangeman » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:34 pm

The long thread in the job forum about the pay for many minor league jobs has left me wondering about the salaries and working conditions at various levels. For example, I have very little clue what someone would make working jobs at higher levels than mine or what their hours/duties would be. I know this varies greatly even at the same level, but the sense I get is that there is this great disparity. It seems to me that at X level and below, you work 70+ hours/week in season for very little pay and your work is seasonal and without benefits. Then at Y level and above, your work is entirely broadcast related (Play-by-Play, web content, interviews, coaches shows, etc) and you are paid significantly more money for those fewer hours. I'd like to get a discussion going on whether or not that is the case, and at what level the change happens in each sport. In addition to the discussion, I think compiling a list of various jobs, hours, and pay would be very helpful. It can be as simple as posting anonymously what you know as fact from your experience or your friends' experiences. To get us started, I've posted some that I know of:


Short-Season Class A Baseball: $500/mo and housing, extremely long hours including PR/MR, website, various duties in ballpark. Estimated hours/week: 70. Part-time, no benefits.

Double-A Baseball #2 Broadcaster: $700/mo, duties include PR/MR, website, production of radio spots, logs, etc... Estimated hours/week: 70. Part-time, no benefits.

Division II Men's Basketball: $100 per game, broadcasts only. Part-time, no benefits.

Division II Football: $75 plus mileage per game, broadcasts and web work. Part-time, no benefits.

AHL Hockey: $2,000/mo, extremely long hours including PR/MR, website, travel arrangements, team services, various duties around arena/office. Part-time, no benefits. Estimated hours/week: 75

Division I Men's Basketball (Non-BCS Conf): $900/mo, play-by-play, production of radio ads, logging of radio ads, some sales, part time, no benefits. Estimated hours/week: 60


Hopefully that gets this discussion started... I'd love to hear peoples thoughts/knowledge on this subject from any and all levels/perspectives.

Marky
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#2 Post by Marky » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:35 pm

Experiences vary. I've received more money for calling a high school game than I have for a major college football game.

And if you can tell me the AHL job that pays $2,000 a month- sign me up now! You'll find that is a VERY competitive wage in the sports media for what it is.

I'm the first to say I think the money given to announcers in the low minors is abysmal. I realize these are not big-money outfits and they need to keep costs low.

But the fact of the matter is the broadcasters are the best sort of publicity a team can have.

Often times the broadcaster is the ONLY media source covering the team, especially on the road when the print media is not going to send out their writers.

It isn't just the quality of the broadcast in this situation, it is the quality of the press release written to keep people up to date with what happened.

Pay them $25 a game and act like you're doing them a favor to broadcast the games and expect to get an announcer who doesn't do his homework. He'll show up 30 minutes before the first pitch, refer to teams as "us" and "them," won't use stats, and say things like "There's no space on the basepaths for him, but we'll make space for him!"

Pay them a living wage- and expect to see the results of an announcer who takes the time to get to know the team- be it statistical preparation, chatting with players to know their background, getting the latest scoops from the manager, and more.

Again- usually what publicity a minor league baseball team gets is self-publicity, be it their website, broadcast, or promotions.

Therefore it makes absolutely no sense for a team to cut corners and costs on that publicity.

And even though sportscasting jobs are highly competitive, if you offer a decent wage quality people will apply.

If you offer a slave wage, you won't, and you'll more than likely find yourself struggling.

Orangeman
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#3 Post by Orangeman » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:45 pm

Marky - it's a great wage for a young broadcaster, but it is still seasonal without benefits... Given the overlap with a majority of baseball gigs, my buddy is concerned about finding any broadcast work in the offseason.

Anyway, I agree with pretty much everything you said and I'm sure the majority of people on here will as well. But my main goal with the post was to try to figure out where that line is between very long hours and low pay and shorter/normal hours (ie 40 a week or less) and good pay. Perhaps that line doesn't exist, but that is the impression I have gotten. Do you have any ideas/input on that, or any examples of various jobs, hours and pay?

Broadcast Junkie
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#4 Post by Broadcast Junkie » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:25 pm

There have been broadcasters for professional teams that are not paid, period.

Schaumburg did it a few years ago, where you had to pay them to broadcast (through a bidding site).


I've heard of a few teams that allow an intern to do it.

There is always somebody willing to broadcast for little to no money. The question is, how highly do the GM's value their end product?

Orangeman
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#5 Post by Orangeman » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:11 am

Broadcast Junkie wrote:There have been broadcasters for professional teams that are not paid, period.

Schaumburg did it a few years ago, where you had to pay them to broadcast (through a bidding site).


I've heard of a few teams that allow an intern to do it.

There is always somebody willing to broadcast for little to no money. The question is, how highly do the GM's value their end product?
Again, this is not the point of this thread. I know there are situations like that. What I am trying to spark is a discussion on is what the situations are like at various levels, all the way up to the highest level. Do you have any input on that from your experience/knoweldge of friends experience? Can just be an anonymous group of jobs like I posted... I'm hoping a bunch of people will post that.

johnthayer1
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#6 Post by johnthayer1 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:48 pm

Be careful how you say "used to" haha. I know I am in a small market and I only wish I could get paid on a per game basis on top of the low salary I currently make. I don't complain about the extra sports work because that's the part I enjoy. Would be nice if some employers would show they appreciate it, ya know.

Orangeman
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#7 Post by Orangeman » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:55 am

johnthayer1 wrote:Be careful how you say "used to" haha. I know I am in a small market and I only wish I could get paid on a per game basis on top of the low salary I currently make. I don't complain about the extra sports work because that's the part I enjoy. Would be nice if some employers would show they appreciate it, ya know.
Part of what makes this discussion difficult is that the same type of job in different markets with different stations and different management will have vastly different pay/working conditions.

I still think that at some level you jump from working 70+ hours for an income that is barely liveable to working 30-40 hours for a good salary. I'm curious what it is, and if there is an in between (ie 40 hours, 40-60K would be in between in my mind). Does anybody know what say an NFL/MLB/NHL/NBA radio play-by-play guy gets and what their hours are? Division I football/basketball in a BCS conference? Non-BCS? Triple-A baseball, AHL hockey, NBA D League? What about similar TV play-by-play jobs?

Not only is this helpful just in looking towards the future, could be very handy in negotiating salaries when offered a job. If you know what the average pay/conditions are at that level, you are in a better position to negotiate.

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