Why the UK’s love affair with sport on the radio is growing

Sport is part of our culture in the United Kingdom and has been for hundreds of years.

From the passion and dreams of an under 12 football match played on a rain-soaked and wind-battered pitch in Scotland on a Sunday morning to the annual running of the Grand National at Aintree followed by millions around the world. Our passion for sport takes many forms and that love affair is showing no signs of fading. Quite the opposite, in fact.

During the lockdowns and restrictions on large public gatherings that plagued 2020 and 2021, with many professional sports postponed, cancelled or played behind closed doors the one thing many of us missed was a fix of our favourite sport. Going to the big match and. cheering your team to victory, watching a pulsating boxing slugfest on Saturday evening.

Blowing the cobwebs away with a midweek round of badminton after work. The public was left locked out looking in.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and that’s certainly the case when it comes to sport.

With favourites including football, boxing and tennis returning at every level, crowds are flocking to stadiums to soak up the atmosphere, sports bars to watch live on TV and we’re using sports betting sites to access live streaming. Radio has a part to play in our enjoyment of sport going forward, a huge part.

Why choose radio

It’s a question many sports fans may have pondered as more games are shown live on television or live streaming apps. Is there still a place in sports coverage for radio? The answer to that is, definitely. If you have ever listened to a Premier League football match at home on the radio or when travelling in your car, you’ll know the added excitement it brings.

If you have ever tuned in to coverage of a late-night championship boxing match with the radio commentary coming from ringside, you’ll argue the case for radio all day against its critics. It’s a unique, imaginative and exciting way to experience the play.

In the absence of live pictures, it takes a special kind of commentator to work on radio.

Those covering a game for TV or a live stream will give their opinions on the match, keeping up to speed with passes, shots and the stats. They know you can see the same game they are commentating on, so they often play a bit part, allowing the play to take centre stage and entertain. Their job is simply to keep you company until the final whistle.

It’s a much simpler task than the one faced by radio commentators.

When covering a match for radio the commentary team must also offer their expert opinion on the match, flagging up tactical changes or substitutions, the severity of an injury or chances of a booked player being ordered off. That’s the basics for a radio commentator but, without you having access to live pictures, they must go a step further. A football commentator on the radio must paint you a picture of what’s going on while really ramping up the excitement.

If you listen to a radio commentator alongside a TV commentator you’ll hear the striking differences. Those on radio are more descriptive, more energetic and more passionate.

They know their job is not only to inform but also to grab your attention and keep you on that station. They aim to have you hanging on to their every word and that takes a skill their colleagues over at live TV just don’t possess.

When to choose radio

There are many instances where you may choose radio over TV or live streaming but there are also instances when you can combine the two. Have you ever watched a football match on live television with the TV muted and listened to the radio coverage of the same game? If not, it’s something any sports fan should try.

You can enjoy the convenience of following the live pictures and the descriptive powers of a talented radio commentator who should be far more passionate and intense than the one employed on TV. We’re confident that when you try this hybrid form of following your favourite sport, you will be a huge fan.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Similar Stories