Soccer Commentators (Where They Sit And What They Do)

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Everyone loves commentators. The very best can make even the worst games extremely entertaining.

Commentators like Peter Drury, Jim Beglin, Jon Champion, Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Clive Tyldesley, and Andy Gray are just some at the very top of the list in the EPL.

While some fans like to listen to the play-by-play commentary, others like to turn the sound down with no commentary.

Where do commentators sit?

Commentators will usually always sit in a place called the commentary box which is located inside the stadium. This will normally be at a high level in the stadium and now at ground level.

Why? Because this allows the commentators to get a great vantage point of the entire pitch while calling the game.

However, one question many people ask is where commentators sit while they are calling the game?

Normally this would be a pretty straightforward answer however with the pandemic still wreaking havoc across the globe, media companies and their commentators have had to be rather nimble.

In this article, we will delve into the world of soccer commentating. From where commentators sit to where they get their stats for the game, we have everything covered. 

Read on to find out everything there is to know about commentators, the answers will surprise you!

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 07: Reporter room in stadium Camp Nou of football club Barcelona in Barcelona on May 7, 2008 in Barcelona, Spain
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 07: Reporter room in the stadium Camp Nou of football club Barcelona in Barcelona on May 7, 2008, in Barcelona, Spain

Where do commentators sit during a soccer Game?

As stated above, commentators for big media companies like NBC, BBC, and Bein Sports are the main media companies that will have their commentators sat up high in the stadium in commentary boxes.

However, commentators on the radio or doing live streams for various websites will often sit below and out in the open, not in a commentary box.

When you hear out in the open, all that means is that the media is not in a “room” as such.

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But as seen from various social media accounts from journalists, some stadiums have commentator’s benches for all other media.

Equipped with the internet and places computers and laptops, it creates almost an office-like area for all journalists and commentators for the game that they are watching/covering.

Where do commentators get their stats?

It is no secret that commentators must do serious research before games.

From individual players to key matchups, team formations, and previous results between the two teams, commentators have a lot of stats at their fingertips.

But where do they get these stats?

The player matchups and previous results are easily available however when it comes to in-game stats, this is where the commentators get what is called live updates from a company called Opta that provides soccer statistics.

This gives commentators live, up-to-date stats on both teams that are playing. Usually, there will be three people involved in this.

One will take care of the stats for the home side, the other will take care of the away side and the third person will double-check both stats that his other colleagues have sent through.

On average, for a single match, there are anywhere between 1,6000 to 2,000 pieces of induvial data that are then checked and then sent to various outlets for the media, commentators, broadcasters, and journalists at the match.

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How do soccer commentators know player’s names?

Generally, commentators will be covering a league or teams that they are well versed in. After covering a specific league for several years, commentators can get familiar with each team and its players.

However, there is still an element of research that has to be done. From the team’s squad to the formations, commentators will get very familiar with player’s names.

Usually, there are a group of commentators that cover a league and will see every team several times a year.

By doing this the commentators will get fast-tracked in the knowledge of the players and their names/positions and stats.

Can soccer players hear the commentators?

In short, no they cannot. This is because most soccer commentators sit in media booths and are far away from the action. Another reason why players can’t hear the commentators is because of the crowd.

Having over 50,000 fans chanting and screaming during a game makes it hard to hear each other on the pitch let alone commentators who are far away from the field.

Commentary is only for the people watching at home however there have been some instances where players have actually heard commentators because they could hear them.

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With COVID not allowing fans into stadiums for a long time, given there was no noise, sometimes players could hear what the commentators were saying if they were not in the commentary box.

How do you become a soccer commentator?

Usually, people will have to go through university and complete a degree in this chosen field.

After years of studying and work placements and experience, you could land your dream job.

After all the hard work, you could get a role with a media company and some of your responsibilities could include:

  • Attend soccer matches and provide coverage of the game and this includes play-by-play commentary.
  • Look at how both teams play with and without the ball
  • Reports on the gameplay and strategy implemented by managers.
  • Use various audio and video equipment.
  • Some basic editing of your pieces
  • Interview staff, players, and coaches before and after the game.
  • Cover any breaking news for your media outlet from players, games, and everything in between.
  • Appear on radio shows as a guest or as host.

These are just some of the things that soccer commentators will do on a game day.

Are soccer commentators always at the game?          

At any given time, several broadcasters are showing a game at one time. Each broadcaster is going to have its own team to call the match.

Before the covid pandemic yes, commentators were always at the soccer game that they commentated on.

However, during the pandemic, some commentators were allowed to be at the match, but some were not.

When this happened often commentators who were set to commentate the match, but couldn’t go, would then set up a booth at their media company’s base.

This would entail various screens to show the game, microphones, and every else needed to make it feel like normal matchday commentary.

Often viewers would not know the difference given the advances in technology in today’s world.

What do soccer commentators do?

A commentator is a person that provides audiences with commentary on events or breaking news that is happening around the world.

One area of commentary that is huge in today’s world is sports commentating.

Being at live events such as soccer matches, press conferences, and doing player interviews are just some of the things they do on a matchday.

Also known as sportscasters or color commentators or special comments commentators, they describe what is happening on the pitch at any given moment.

Whether it be on TV or radio, the commentator does their best to give people watching or listening at home a play-by-play description of what is going on.

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They do this by commentating on the game, giving out stats and other information to keep the people at home glued to the match.

How much do soccer commentators get paid?

On average, there is a big discrepancy with pay. The range is anywhere from $18,000 to $75,000 per year.

This largely depends on experience and the network that the commentator works for.

Who is the highest-paid soccer commentator/pundit?

At the time of writing, Gary Lineker is the top earner, raking in £1.35m per year with former Blackburn and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer coming in second with a wage of £395,000 per year.


So, there you have it. There is everything you need to know about the world that is soccer commentating.

From what they do during a game to where they do it, everything we have put into this article is done so in the hope that you leave more informed than what you were previously.

While some people do not like commentators the fact is they play an integral part of the soccer landscape around the world.

They are paid well but the number of hours that are put into a single match, from accumulating stats to player lineups, etc, is a lot of work.

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Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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