Comparison between sports casting and Twitch streaming commentary

By 2 March, 2017 No Comments

I haven’t really written a proper article around thoughts and ideas in a while. To start it all off we have topic that’s been kicking around in my head for the past day or so. It’s how similar good Twitch streaming commentary are to sports casting.

What’s sports casting?

In sports we tend to have two positions (there can be more) that goes to the play-by-play commentary and the color commentary. These are supposed to be have distinctive differences and help with the flow of the commentary.

The play-by-play provides a commentary on what you’re seeing. While they do have their own infliction and comments they do so with the events on screen. They can do so across many different type of sports — what does this sound to you?

On the other side we have the color commentary. This type of commentator gives you an analysis, background information, insight, strategy, tell stories, adds humor and so on — again what does this remind you of?

This combination works great as they play off of each other. They create a certain flow between them that allows for the cast to never feel boring or at a standstill. Now how do you apply this to your own Twitch channel?

Either or?

As you probably deducted the description above can easily be applied to our top streamers. So why do I bring it up? In my opinion — and of course that’s all it is — is that a lot of smaller streamers don’t combine these two. They stay either one or the other. While that might sound like a problem at first it’s when we start to look at the two concepts together that we start to see the issue.

If all that is happening is a play-by-play it will eventually be fairly bland and boring. And even if what is happening on screen might be exciting if all it is a repetition of what we’re actually seeing the attention will be lost. That very same attention also gets lost as soon as there’s no change in the flow and results in a flat broadcast.

Understanding that there’s a balance between the two is a an important aspect of streaming. I can now say this based on experience and not only the data that I’ve collected and seen. You can immediately tell the difference in both interaction and in energy from yourself. I tend to start off with explaining what I’m doing (play-by-play), add in comments as I see fit (color) and at one point or another go into a longer analysis on why I’m doing what I’m doing (color) and then switch back to some more play-by-play.

The flow and the beat

In movies we call these “beats” and it’s the ebb and flow of a scene or a script. It is what makes it all interesting for the viewer. When you put them out in writing that in the previous paragraph you can see the beat [play-by-play] — [color] — [color]  — [play-by-play]. Now this dosen’t mean that it has to stay in this pattern constantly. It’s the changes and the twists that makes something interesting watch.

You might already be doing all of this and that’s great. However now you understand why it’s happening and why you might call it “getting in the zone”. It’s exactly that feel that you will eventually fall into naturally. So while it might feel a bit weird at the start it will (and might already) feel normal to you.

This was a fun article to write! I really enjoy putting what I’ve written and talked about for a long time into practice. This has been an eventful week for me and I think it will keep getting more eventful in the coming weeks as I move LiveSpace into a new phase.

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