NFL Commentator

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An NFL commentator's job is to provide play-by-play and color analysis during NFL games. They are responsible for covering the game in real-time, analyzing the game, highlights, player performance, and providing professional opinions on games, plays, and players. NFL commentators must have strong communication skills, an extensive knowledge of the NFL, understanding of player positions, and a passion for the sport.

They may also be responsible for keeping track of game statistics and preparing pre-game, halftime, and post-game commentary. NFL Commentators may work for networks that broadcast NFL games, on the radio or for online streaming services. They often have a team of professionals working together, including producers, coordinators, and technical staff.

In summary, an NFL commentator job description entails communicating game highlights and analysis, providing expert opinions on games, plays, and players, and keeping track of game statistics. This job requires a deep understanding of NFL as well as excellent communication skills.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide commentary and analysis during live NFL games on television or radio
  • Communicate important game highlights, stats, and player information to viewers/listeners
  • Work with a production team to ensure each broadcast runs smoothly and effectively
  • Prepare pre-game and post-game reports, analysis, and interviews
  • Conduct interviews with players, coaches, and other personnel in the NFL
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest NFL news, trends, and developments
  • Maintain a professional demeanor on-air and adhere to industry standards of professionalism
  • Be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the game and be able to explain them to viewers/listeners
  • Ensure unbiased analysis and commentary, even if personal bias exists
  • Occasionally travel to game locations to provide on-site commentary and analysis.

Experience and Education Requirements

To get a job as an NFL commentator, you need to have both education and experience in the sports industry. A college degree in communications, journalism, or broadcasting is typically required, and having experience as a reporter, anchor or commentator in television, radio, or online media is also essential. A deep knowledge of football and NFL teams, players, statistics, and history is necessary to provide insightful and engaging commentary during games and coverage. Good communication skills, a clear and compelling voice, and the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines are also crucial. Networking, building a portfolio of work, and getting involved in related organizations can also increase your chances of landing a job as an NFL commentator.

Salary Range

As an NFL commentator, your salary can vary depending on your experience, popularity, and network. According to PayScale, the average salary for an NFL commentator in the United States is around $60,000 to $200,000 annually. Legendary commentators like John Madden and Al Michaels earned millions per year. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, commentators earn an average of £50,000 to £100,000 ($65,000 to $130,000) per year, according to a job posting by the BBC. Ultimately, your salary range can vary greatly depending on your experience and the network you work with.


  • PayScale: NFL Commentator Salary Range
  • BBC Careers: Sports Commentator

Career Outlook

If you're interested in becoming an NFL Commentator, the good news is that the demand for sports coverage is only growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of announcers and broadcasters is projected to grow 1% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This means that there will still be plenty of opportunities for NFL Commentators over the next five years. 

However, competition for jobs in the sports industry is fierce, and being a former professional football player or having a journalism background can greatly increase your chances of landing a job. Having a strong social media presence and being able to provide unique insights and analysis can also help you stand out from other candidates. 

Overall, the outlook for NFL Commentators in the sports industry is positive, but it's important to remember that it's a highly competitive field, and keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is the job of an NFL commentator? 

A: An NFL commentator is responsible for providing on-air analysis and color commentary during live NFL games, offering expert insight into player performance, strategy, and play-by-play action.

Q: What skills are needed to be an effective NFL commentator? 

A: Effective NFL commentators possess excellent verbal communication skills, a deep knowledge of the game, and the ability to think on their feet and provide insightful commentary that engages viewers.

Q: Do NFL commentators make a lot of money? 

A: Yes, NFL commentators can earn high salaries, particularly those who work for major networks like ESPN or Fox Sports. Salaries can range from around $50,000 to several million dollars per year.

Q: How do you become an NFL commentator? 

A: To become an NFL commentator, you typically need a deep understanding of the game, as well as experience in broadcasting or journalism. Many commentators begin their career in local broadcasting before moving up to national networks.

Q: Do NFL commentators work weekends? 

A: Yes, NFL games usually take place on weekends, so most NFL commentators work weekends and sometimes even holidays. The job can be demanding but also rewarding for those who enjoy the excitement and energy of live sports broadcasting.

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