Today, young sports fans learn the letters E.S.P.N. shortly after learning their ABCs.
The self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports is largely indicative of the wild, symbiotic growth of sports and media in the past 35 years. With it have come other all-sports networks at both the national and regional levels, as well as channels owned by leagues and teams at both the professional and collegiate levels. Add to that over-theair television and radio stations that continue to serve hungry sports fans with coverage of live events and sports news. Most if not all of these entities have enhanced and expanded their coverage utilizing the World Wide Web, mobile services, and social media. And have we mentioned the unlimited opportunities for individuals to set up their own video broadcasts, podcasts, blogs and social media postings, thus proclaiming themselves "sportscasters"?
While all of this growth offers unprecedented opportunities in the business, the increase in aspiring sportscasters has been exponential. Associated with that are two things: the need for students to be equipped with the expertise to thrive in a career in sports broadcasting along with the skills needed to break into such a competitive field.
We believe that our annual issue on Sports Broadcasting is one of the tools to help you accomplish that. Performance aspects are broken down by individual discipline such as anchoring, reporting, play-by-play, and so forth. The same is true with the production side of the business such as producing, directing, camera, audio, etc. Performance and production are both included because they have become increasingly integrated. Performers are frequently called upon to exhibit abilities in the production area, not only in television but also when contributing to digital content as well. The same can be said for being able to write for a particular entity's website. Media are, after all, converging, so broadcasters need to know how to write while writers are being asked to broadcast.
Sportscasting (as opposed to broadcasting in general) has become its own area of specialization, from performance to production and everything in between. As a business and as a field of study, it has never been bigger. When asked by the publisher, Focal Press, to provide evidence of the need for a book such as this, the authors uncovered a study by Marie Hardin, the associate director of research at the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University. The study said in part:
"As sports-related news has become a major cultural force in recent years—expanding its presence on television and the Internet and dominating the nation's newsprint—it's also become a staple part of many US journalism programs."
"A survey of 384 university programs in journalism and mass communication found that more than 40 percent offer at least one sports media-related course on a regular basis.' The most frequently offered are courses in sports journalism and sports broadcasting, representing 151 courses in 127 programs. In all, 155 programs offer more than 200 sports-focused courses . ."
"Fourteen institutions report offering minors, certificates or other formal emphases in sports media. Thirty-six programs reported that they provide two or more sports media courses, and seven—Penn State, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal, Marist College, Suffolk University, Boston University, and Utica College-reported offering four or more courses."
The 3rd edition of SVN Sports Broadcasting allows the reader to wade at least ankle-deep into just about every aspect of the business, knowing that he or she may be called upon to dip into that knowledge base in many different situations. Thus, readers are encouraged to take in the entire issue, whether your heart is set on becoming the next great sports host, director, or sports programming executive.
Coming in August.