Color commentator

A color commentator or expert commentator is a sports commentator who assists the main commentator, often by filling in any time when play is not in progress. The phrase "color commentator" is primarily used in American English; the concept may also be referred to as a summariser (outside North America) or analyst (a term used throughout the English-speaking world).[1][2] The color analyst and main commentator will often exchange comments freely throughout the broadcast, when the main commentator is not describing the action.[3] 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.[4]

Manel Comas, Arsenio Cañada, Juanma Iturriaga - Liga ACB - TVE
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.[2][5][6][7]


Canada and the United States

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. The color commentator will usually restrict his input to periods when the ball or puck is out of play or there is no significant action on the field and will defer to the main commentator whenever there is a shot on goal or other significant event, sometimes resulting in their being talked-over or cut short by the primary commentator. Additionally, former players and managers appear as pundits, carrying out a similar role to the co-commentator during the pre-game show preceding a given contest and the post-game show following it. In American motorsports coverage, there may be as many as two color commentators in the booth for a given broadcast.[8] A rules analyst, typically a former official, may comment on rules enforcement and replays.[9][10]

In the past, American sports broadcasts often employed three-man booths, with two color commentators, one who is a former player or coach, and the other with a journalism or entertainment background; Monday Night Football was famous for this format, employing Howard Cosell as their "outsider" commentator for over a decade and later hiring comedian Dennis Miller and then newspaper columnist Tony Kornheiser for the same position.

WWE is a primary example of the three-man booth, with main commentator Michael Cole and two color commentators, Corey Graves and Renee Young, on the flagship show WWE Raw.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the role of "color commentator" is largely unknown; the equivalent role is usually called "summariser" but also known as "analyst", "pundit", or simply "co-commentator". Cricket coverage on ESPNcricinfo uses similar terminology.


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

Latin America

For football broadcasts on Latin American sports television channels, this type of commentator is called a comentarista in both Spanish and Portuguese, in contrast with the narrador, locutor (Portuguese) or relator (Spanish) who leads the transmission. There is no mention or translation to the term "color".


In Denmark, Norway and Sweden the position is known as ekspertkommentator / expertkommentator (expert commentator), whereas the play-by-play announcer is called hovedkommentator / huvudkommentator (head commentator) or simply kommentator.

In Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, the position is known as a comentarista and comentador (commentator; comentarista in Brazilian Portuguese), respectively, in contrast with the narrador (narrator) who describes the action. Similarly, in Finland kommentaattori is used for the second commentator, and selostaja (explainer) for the main one.

In France, the term for a color commentator is consultant, as opposed to the commentateur sportif (who is also a journalist).

In Italy, the color commentator is usually referred to as responsible for the commento tecnico (technical comment) whereas the play-by-play commentator is the main telecronista. In Italy, too, the color commentator is usually a person formerly directly involved in the sport (as an athlete/player/pilot or as a coach). Recent Formula 1 races have no fewer than three commentators: the telecronista, a former pilot, and an engineer, the last two sharing the commento tecnico.

In Turkey, the term spiker is used for the play-by-play announcer whereas the color commentator is referred to simply as yorumcu (commentator).

In some countries, the two-person commentating team is not used as much as elsewhere. In Germany, most broadcasts of sports matches traditionally feature a single play-by-play announcer who also provides commentary, background information, and statistics. If the broadcast is on TV, the announcer will usually not comment on visually obvious things. A two-person commentating team is used more often for sports where understanding of events depends more on details and subtle visual cues that not everybody might instantly get or might need extra information in order to reasonably understand – for example in auto racing or winter sport. In those cases, a current or former athlete or coach is often used as co-commentator or Experte (expert).

In professional wrestling

JBL, Cole, King
Professional wrestling commentators John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Michael Cole, and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

Though not always the case, in professional wrestling, the color commentator is usually a "heel sympathizer" (or a supporter of the "bad guys") as opposed to the play-by-play announcer, who is more or less the "voice of the fans" as well as supporters of the "good guys" (or babyfaces). Though both are supposed to show neutral stance while announcing, the color commentators (especially when they support heels) are usually more blatant about their stance than the play-by-play announcers.

Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan pioneered the "heel sympathizer" for color commentary in wrestling. Jerry "The King" Lawler later made a successful transition into the role, though Lawler has since shown more sympathy for faces (partially due to being over with fans after nearly forty years in wrestling). In some cases, commentators are also active managers for wrestlers, usually following continuity as heels. Former Extreme Championship Wrestling color commentator Cyrus was known for having dual roles as a heel manager and a somewhat neutral commentator. It has also been used to keep injured wrestlers in the public eye while they recuperate. Special guest color commentators serve a twofold purpose, the primary is usually to place them in position to interfere with the match they are calling, but also serves to tell the promotors if this performer can "talk" on his own in the ad lib driven commentary role.


  1. ^ "Color commentator | Define Color commentator at". Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  2. ^ a b "What Is a Color Commentator? | Everyday Life - Global Post". Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  3. ^ "What Is a Color Commentator? |". 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  4. ^ "Announcers : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics". 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  5. ^ "Color Commentary and Play by Play: A Well-Rounded Approach to Facebook". Inkling Media. 2012-05-02. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  6. ^ "The Sportscaster: A Brief History & Job Description". 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  7. ^ "The Top Three Keys For Becoming a Color Commentator | member John Lund". 2012-11-27. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  8. ^ Kedzie, Julie (2013-07-18). "Julie Kedzie Breaks Down the Art of MMA Color Commentary | FIGHTLAND". Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  9. ^ McCarthy, Michael (2016-09-06). "Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira is lethal 'weapon' rival networks don't have". Sporting News. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  10. ^ Raissman, Bob (2017-12-23). "Tony Romo shows he has much to learn after clueless Steelers call". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
ESPN Events

ESPN Events is an American sporting event promoter owned by ESPN Inc. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and shares its operations with SEC Network and formerly with ESPNU. The corporation organizes sporting events for broadcast across the ESPN family of networks, including, most prominently, a group of college football bowl games and in-season college basketball tournaments.

ESPN Events previously operated primarily as a syndicator of college sports broadcasts; the company was founded as Creative Sports, a sports programming syndicator that merged with Don Ohlmeyer's OCC Sports in 1996. After ESPN purchased the merged company, the division was renamed ESPN Regional Television (ERT), which distributed telecasts for syndication on broadcast stations and regional sports networks; these telecasts were also available on the ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court out-of-market sports packages. Most of ERT's broadcasts were presented under the on-air branding ESPN Plus, but this name was later phased out in favor of dedicated on-air brands for each package, such as SEC Network (not to be confused with the current SEC Network cable channel).

Following its acquisition of the Las Vegas Bowl in 2001, ERT began to double as an organizer of sporting events. The subdivision, which later began to operate under the name ESPN Events, would acquire and establish other bowl games to provide additional post-season opportunities for bowl-eligible teams (and in turn, additional content for ESPN's networks). ESPN Events also organizes several pre-season tournaments in college basketball, as well as the season-opening Camping World Kickoff and Texas Kickoff football games.ESPN Regional Television began to wind down its syndication operations in the 2010s, as the proliferation of competing outlets (including other sports channels, conference-specific networks such as ESPN's own SEC Network, as well as digital services such as ESPN's own ESPN3 and WatchESPN platforms) took over most of the conference rights and overflow formerly held by the company.

List of Chicago Bears broadcasters

Currently, WBBM NewsRadio 780 airs the Chicago Bears football games with Jeff Joniak doing the play-by-play, along with color commentator Tom Thayer and sideline reporter Zach Zaidman. Over the years, many Bears play-by-play broadcasters have included Jack Brickhouse and Wayne Larrivee. Their current preseason TV announcers on Fox Chicago are Adam Amin or Kyle Brandt (play-by-play), Jim Miller (color commentary) and Lou Canellis (sideline reporter).

List of Monday Night Football commentators

The following is a list of sportscasters who have served as commentators for Monday Night Football broadcasts on various networks, along with each commentator's period of tenure on the show (beginning years of each season shown, as the NFL season ends in the calendar year after it begins). Game announcers used in #2 games usually come from ESPN and are included for both wild card playoff games (1995–2005 except 2002–2003 season) and secondary regular season games (1987, 1997, 2005–present).

List of NFC Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers who have broadcast the National Football Conference Championship Game throughout the years. The years listed concentrate on the season instead of the calendar year that the game took place. The forerunner to the NFC Championship Game (prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger) was the NFL Championship Game.

List of Vancouver Canucks broadcasters

The following is a season-by-season list of people who have worked on Vancouver Canucks local radio and television broadcasts.

List of Washington Nationals broadcasters

Broadcasters for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team.

Matt Millen

Matthew George Millen (born March 12, 1958) is an American former National Football League linebacker and former executive. Millen played for the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. In Millen's 12-year NFL playing career, he played on four teams that won the Super Bowl. Millen won a Super Bowl ring with each of the three teams for which he played; moreover, he won a Super Bowl ring in each of the four cities in which he played (the Raiders won championships in both Oakland and Los Angeles during his tenure).After his playing career, Millen was President and chief executive officer of the Detroit Lions from 2001 until week 4 of the 2008 NFL season. His eight-year tenure as head of the franchise led to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL (31-84, a .270 winning percentage), and resulted in his termination on September 24, 2008. Millen assembled the personnel and coaching staff of the 2008 Lions, which became the first team to go 0-16. This was the sole worst single-season record in league history until it was tied by the 2017 Cleveland Browns. He is generally regarded as the worst, or one of the worst, general managers in the history of modern sports.Following his NFL career, he was a football commentator for several national television and radio networks. His last job before joining the Lions was as a member of the number two broadcast team for NFL on Fox, as well as being the color commentator for Monday Night Football on Westwood One. On February 1, 2009, he joined the NBC broadcast team for pre-game analysis of Super Bowl XLIII. He has also been employed by ESPN as an NFL and college football analyst, and by NFL Network as a color commentator on Thursday Night Football. In 2015, Millen returned to Fox NFL and debuted on Big Ten Network.


NBCSN is an American pay television channel that is owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal. It originally launched on July 1, 1995, as the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which was dedicated to programming primarily involving fishing, hunting, outdoor adventure programs, and outdoor sports. By the turn of the 21st century, OLN became better known for its extensive coverage of the Tour de France but eventually began covering more "mainstream" sporting events, resulting in its relaunch as Versus in September 2006.

In 2011, Comcast, the original owner of the network, acquired a majority stake in NBC Universal. As a result, Comcast merged the operations of its pay channels with those of NBC. In particular, it aligned the operation of its sports channels with NBC's sports division, NBC Sports. On January 2, 2012, Versus was rebranded as the NBC Sports Network (on-air branding later shortened to NBCSN) to reflect these changes. As of September 15, 2014, the majority of NBC Sports' operations, including NBCSN, is based in facilities in Stamford, Connecticut.

As of February 2015, NBCSN is available to approximately 81,578,000 pay television households (70.1% of households with television) in the United States.

NHL on NBC commentators

From 2006 to 2008, NBC's studio show originally broadcast out of the rink at New York's Rockefeller Center, at the foot of NBC's offices during January and February. This allowed the on-air talent, including commentators for NHL on NBC, and their guests (often ex-players and youth hockey teams) to demonstrate plays and hockey skills. From April onwards, and during inclement weather, the studio show moved to Studio 8G inside the GE Building, where NBC produces its Football Night in America program. For the Stanley Cup Finals, the show was broadcast on location.

Beginning in 2008, the studio show originates from the game venue.

Sabres Hockey Network

The Sabres Hockey Network is the official radio network and production company of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). The network is currently operated jointly by the Sabres (Pegula Sports and Entertainment) and by Entercom Communications.

Rick Jeanneret is the network's primary play-by-play voice and has served in that capacity since 1971, with Rob Ray currently serving as color commentator. In the 2008-2009 season, former Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes broadcaster Curt Keilback covered for Jeanneret during the team's western road trip. In the 2009-2010 season, the Sabres did not send their television broadcast crew on the western road trip and used the local broadcasts of the Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks as the "home" broadcast. Jeanneret and then color commentator Harry Neale had reduced duties for 2011–2012, with the duo only handling home games and a third of the road games; Kevin Sylvester and Danny Gare handled the broadcasts of the remaining games that season.

The radio network's postgame show is hosted by WGR personality Brian Koziol. Mike Schopp and Chris "Bulldog" Parker host the pre-game show, which airs only on WGR. On television, a pregame show and postgame show are broadcast, and hosted by Brian Duff and Martin Biron. (Prior to 2005, the television pregame-postgame shows were simulcast on radio. The postgame was known as Hockey Hotline and hosted by Mike Robitaille, first with host Brian Blessing and then Josh Mora.)

The theme song for broadcasts has been the "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian since the team's debut. From the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs through the 2009–10 season, the team used for its main theme an instrumental cut of "Hurricane 2000," an orchestral arrangement of the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" recorded by Scorpions and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on the album Moment of Glory. From the 1990s through 2006 the team used a custom-made theme. Beginning shortly after Terry Pegula's acquisition of the team, the song was changed back to "Sabre Dance." For the 2011-12 season, a hard-rock version of "Sabre Dance" rotates with MSG Network's standard hockey theme as the theme for the Sabres Hockey Network broadcasts.

Sports commentator

In sports broadcasting, a sports commentator (also known as sports announcer, sportscaster or play-by-play announcer) gives a running commentary of a game or event in real time, usually during a live broadcast, traditionally delivered in the historical present tense. Radio was the first medium for sports broadcasts, and radio commentators must describe all aspects of the action to listeners who cannot see it for themselves. In the case of televised sports coverage, commentators are usually presented as a voiceover, with images of the contest shown on viewers' screens and sounds of the action and spectators heard in the background. Television commentators are rarely shown on screen during an event, though some networks choose to feature their announcers on camera either before or after the contest or briefly during breaks in the action.


Peter Senercia (born October 11, 1967), better known by the ring names Taz or Tazz, is an American radio personality, former color commentator and professional wrestler.

He is known for his work in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he was a two time World Heavyweight Champion, a two time World Television Champion, a three time World Tag Team Champion,

a two time (and the inaugural) FTW Heavyweight Champion, and the fourth (and final) ECW Triple Crown Champion.

His World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E) career as an in-ring performer came to an early end in 2002 and subsequently saw him transition into a color-commentary role, which he continued to do until his contract with WWE expired in April 2009. Two months later, Senerchia debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at their Victory Road pay-per-view under his previous Taz ring name and eventually reprised his role as a color commentator for TNA's broadcasts, replacing Don West.

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