Lance Whittaker: Changes in the Caribbean Sport Media Landscape


Guest: Lance Whittaker
Sports Broadcaster and Commentator 

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Lance Whittaker is a veteran sports broadcaster and commentator and the Vice President of Production/Executive Producer at SportsMax TV. He has been a sports commentator for more than five and has covered several Olympic Games since the 1992 Barcelona Games. He started his career start at the now-defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in 1984, he also worked the Director of Sports at the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) and Sports Coordinator at the Caribbean News Agency (CANA). He is also the co-host of the television programme, the SportsMax Zone.

In this episode, Lance discusses his decades of experience in sports broadcasting. He speaks about how his dream job, sports broadcasting has transformed due to technology since he started in the 1980s. He also shares his experiences working in print media and then transitioning to television in 2000.

Lance also speaks about:

  1. His favourite moments he has commentated including Deon Hemmings winning an Olympic Gold medal in 1996 Atlanta Games, the 2000 Sydney Games, 2000 Athen Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  2. The low points of covering the Olympic Games such as the demonstration of the Jamaican athletes against Merlene Ottey selection for the national team.  
  3. His experiences as a Jamaican journalist covering international sporting games.
  4. His respect for fellow commentator Hubert Lawrence and what it is like working with him over the years.
  5. How radio prepared him as a sports commentator to transition to television and how his passion for sports has fuelled his success as a broadcaster.

Lance discusses the importance of maintaining your edge in a now competitive broadcasting landscape. He shares his views on the quality of sports broadcasting locally and his belief that the standards have been diluted with the emergence of more radio stations. He also talks about the volume and intensity of sports broadcasting.

Other topics discussed are:

  1. The role of SportsMax TV in changing the face of sports broadcasting regionally and working with broadcasters such as Simon Crosskill and Alexis Nunes.
  2. Creating content to compete with other Cable stations and the importance of securing rights to maintain a prominent presence in regional broadcasting
  3. The impact of the pandemic on broadcasting and being innovative with content during the period where there was little live sporting content.
  4. Preparation for the possible staging of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
  5. His views on the future of track and field in Jamaica and the Caribbean and Jamaica’s prospects in track along with the potential of success in field events.
  6. The need for investment in local horse-racing locally
  7. The decline of the Cricket West Indies and the popularity of the sport among youth regionally
  8. Advice for young sports journalists  

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