How do sports announcers...

How do sports announcers grab stats so fast during a telecast?

I’m always amazed at some of the useless facts and stats announcers come up with during a live broadcast, especially baseball announcers.

Do they have some huge SQL database with all the info and have people to random queries? Does the database have some sort of AI and automatically does queries depending on the status of the game?


There are assistants (or one assistant) who is constantly handing them stats. Also, the teams hand out a press release each day before the game with up-to-date stats plus interesting trivia about the players.

And finally, a lot of them have a huge memory for anecdotes, having been in the business a while.

They also have earphones. The statisticians in the production studio or truck look up the data and it’s relayed to them.

Yep. And they’re coached early, too.

The way my uni sports announcers do it is a combination of having sheets of paper with every statistic you can imagine, the game day program, but also having the information fed to them via headsets.

The magic is not so much in where they get the information from, but in how they assimilate it into their broadcast. You can’t say, “Wait a minute while I read through this, looking for the percentage of on-sides kicks by left-handed kickers on Monday nights.” It has to be fast and spontaneous. There is a fair amount of prepwork involved in a sports broadcast to make sure that the anchors are familiar with the information at hand. However, it’s not uncommon to get stuff from the opposing team the day of the game. So these guys have to be fast readers and they have to think on their feet to make this stuff interesting and relevant to the game that’s currently on.

Robin, a proud member of SUTV, Shippensburg University.

“uni sports announcers”?


“Oh!!! Dave, Wilson just took a header there. That’s the 14th time he’s tumbled in the past 19 races. Kind of reminds me of the great Klutzerini, the Dauntless Dutchman. If I recall, he fell of his unicycle in 22 consecutive races, and … and Wilson’s back on his uni! He’s heading for the finish line!”

As an example, here is the news release from the Eagles-Bills game this past weekend. You’ll find all kinds of facts and stats in there that the announcers will mention during a broadcast.

The proliferation of computers has probably changed this, but in the not too long ago days, the statician in the booth would have a copy of the opposing team’s Media Guide (a book published each year by each team filled with…well, media-related information).