Color commentators are often the former professional who assist the main commentator. They are there to provide an expert opinion and to give us an insight into the minds of our favorite athletes, expanding on why they think certain decisions have been made. Broadcasts wouldn’t be the same without them as we would just have the opinion of someone who never played the game.
A good color commentator can bridge the gap between fans and professional athletes and are an essential aspect of any TV sports broadcast. While a color commentator is good during the live feed, analysts have become less of an enlightening factor during the pre and post game discussions.
Sometimes the role of a sports analyst is to play devil’s advocate. Some analysts will provide a different opinion than perhaps their own in order to generate good discussion. The post-game break down can be a boring discussion for anyone who isn’t an avid fan of their sport, but it’s the job of TV execs to make sure people keep watching.
Sponsors and advertisers are paying good money to have their products shown to TV audiences, so the broadcasters need to keep people watching. Have you ever noticed the analysts seemingly having a falling out? It’s not necessarily because they have genuinely fallen out, but because they are trying to get a reaction from their counterparts. Lively discussion helps to keep people watching the same thing they’ve spent the previous two or more hours staring at, keeping eyes on prized advertising slots.
Television is becoming more interactive than ever before as the internet changes how we experience sports. Fans of teams can use social media to get in touch with broadcasters and have their opinions discussed on air. This has seen the TV sports analyst role move away from purely talking about statistics and game moments, to including fan responses. Sports like basketball have embraced social media in recent years, and now analysis shows are becoming an extension of the internet.
As broadcasting looks to move away from television and toward multi-platform functionality, there is a greater need for sports analysts to interact with the viewers. The world as a whole is more connected and to make sure people keep tuning in after the game analysts need to keep viewers captivated. If they want to, people can access the game statistics themselves and draw their own conclusions from these facts.
The roles of analysts are to provide opinions and get people talking and interacting with broadcasters more so than breaking down the games play by play. Entertainment is more important than cold hard facts in modern broadcasting, so analysts must keep audiences tuned in.