Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Susan Tyler Eastman
Traditionally, sportscasters come in two kinds: play-by-play announcers who call the game action and color commentators who add background details on plays or players during pauses in field or on-court action. At the broadcast network level, especially for football sportscasts, guests supplement the host color commentator. Most are former players or coaches, filling time by speculating on what the game coaches might do next or how the opposing team might react. Sportswriters began to summarize games and report their outcomes in late-nineteenth-century newspapers, slowly evolving their reports into game “stories.” Starting in the 1920s, radio broadcasters began airing quite imaginative “live” game recreations, and as remote radio transmission improved, sportscast-ers began delivering actual play-by-play reports of professional baseball games and boxing matches. In the 1930s, sports over the radio were one of the few affordable entertainments, and sportscasters became easily recognized personalities for thousands and then millions of fans. Some ...