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
Sportscasters are among television's larger-than-life personalities. The very best have endured on the air across decades of ever-changing players, revolving coaches, and up-and-down seasons, reaching generation after generation of fans. But the era of great sportscasters is fast disappearing. For newcomers, becoming a giant among colleagues is unlikely because the conditions of viewing sports and thus of experiencing sportscasters have changed drastically since the 1990s. At the network level, teams of play-by-play and color commentators accomplish the game announcing, often covering different leagues within a sport, and as the seasons change, they typically cover several different sports. Their specialties are breadth rather than focused depth, and unlike local announcers, network sportscasters generally hide personal preferences for specific teams. They can show themselves as fans of a sport, such as baseball, golf, or hockey, but cannot favor a particular team except on talk shows where they normally draw on their expertise ...