A color commentator or expert commentator is a sports commentator who assists the main (play-by-play) commentator, typically by filling in when play is not in progress. The person may also be referred to as a summariser (outside North America) or analyst (a term used throughout the English-speaking world).[1] The color analyst and main commentator will often exchange comments freely throughout the broadcast, when the main commentator is not describing the action.[2] The color commentator provides expert analysis and background information, such as statistics, strategy, and injury reports on the teams and athletes, and occasionally anecdotes or light humor. Color commentators are often former athletes or coaches of the sport being broadcast.[3]

Main commentator Arsenio Cañada (middle) introduces the basketball game between CB Estudiantes and CB Málaga assisted by two color analysts: Manel Comas (left), former coach, and Juanma Iturriaga (right), former player.

The term color refers to levity and insight provided by a secondary announcer. A sports color commentator customarily works alongside the play-by-play broadcaster.[4][5][6]

United States and Canada edit

Commentary teams typically feature one professional commentator describing the passage of play, and another, usually a former player or coach, providing supplementary input as the game progresses. Color commentators usually restrict their input to times that the ball or the puck is out of play, or there is no significant action on the field or the court. They usually defer to the main commentator when a shot on goal or another significant event occurs. That sometimes results in them being talked over or cut short by the primary commentator. Former players and managers also appear as pundits and carry out a similar role to that of the co-commentator during the pre-game show before a given contest and the post-game show after it.

In American motorsports coverage, there may be as many as two color commentators in the booth for a given broadcast.[7]

In the 2010s, sports broadcasters began to feature a "rules analyst", who provides opinions and insights on calls made by referees and is typically also a former official. The practice was first popularized in the NFL, with Fox hiring former officials Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino.[8][9][10] The practice has since been extended to other sports, with officials such as Steve Javie (basketball), Don Koharski (hockey), and Joe Machnik (soccer) having taken on similar roles for ESPN, TNT, and Fox respectively.[11][12][13]

United Kingdom edit

The term "color commentator" is largely unknown outside American sports such as football. In the United Kingdom, the equivalent role is usually called "summariser" but other terms used are "analyst", "pundit" or simply "co-commentator". Cricket coverage on ESPNcricinfo uses similar terminology.

Australia and New Zealand edit

The term is not used in Australia or New Zealand. Those giving the analysis alongside the main commentator are sometimes said to be giving additional or expert analysis, or "special comments", or they may be referred to as "expert commentators".

Latin America edit

For Association football broadcasts on Latin American sports television channels, such a commentator is called a comentarista in both Spanish and Portuguese and contrasts with the narrador, locutor (Spanish and Portuguese) or relator (Spanish - Argentina and Uruguay) who leads the transmission. The term "color" is not used or translated.

References edit

  1. ^ "Color commentator | Define Color commentator at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "What Is a Color Commentator?". work.chron.com. Houston Chronicle. November 29, 2010. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "Announcers: Occupational Outlook Handbook — What Announcers Do". Bureau of Labor Statistics. January 8, 2014. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "Color Commentary and Play by Play: A Well-Rounded Approach to Facebook". Inkling Media. May 2, 2012. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Sportscaster: A Brief History & Job Description". Americansportscastersonline.com. January 7, 2014. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  6. ^ John Lund (November 27, 2012). "The Top Three Keys For Becoming a Color Commentator". Sportsideo.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  7. ^ Kedzie, Julie (July 18, 2013). "Julie Kedzie Breaks Down the Art of MMA Color Commentary". FIGHTLAND. Vice. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Deitsch, Richard (January 11, 2012). "NFL's most indispensable broadcasting talents". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on February 22, 2016.
  9. ^ McCarthy, Michael (September 6, 2016). "Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira is lethal 'weapon' rival networks don't have". Sporting News. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Caldwell, Dave (January 22, 2019). "Rise of the TV rules analysts shows the NFL has a problem". the Guardian. Archived from the original on January 22, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (June 3, 2022). "Fox Sports adds Joe Machnik as a soccer rules analyst". Awful Announcing. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  12. ^ King, Jay. "Ex-NBA referee Steve Javie weighs in on officiating: 'Welcome to the playoffs'". The Athletic. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  13. ^ "TNT Adds Don Koharski As NHL Rules Analyst | Barrett Media". September 29, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2023.