About the Show:

An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield, Only A Game is radio for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. Produced by WBUR in Boston, Only A Game puts sports in perspective with intelligent analysis, insightful interviews, and a keen sense humor.

You don’t have to be an expert on sports to pitch to Only A Game.  But, you should be an experienced reporter with excellent writing and technical skills and a conversational delivery style.

How to Pitch:

All pitches should be sent via email to oag@wbur.org.  Please title your email “Story Submission” to keep it from being lost in the sea of spam.

Keep your pitch concise and focused.   One to two paragraphs is plenty.  Often the angle is just as important as the story itself, so consider the specific themes you’d like to explore.  If it’s a specific sporting event you’d like to cover, please tell us the date of the event and how soon you think the story might need to air.

Our national feed goes out on Saturday mornings at 7:00 EST.  Time sensitive events that occur on Friday night or Saturday morning simply don’t fit into our production schedule.

All pitches should be accompanied by a 2-3 links to your recent stories, so that we can get a better sense of whether your style fits into our show.  We won’t accept story submissions if we can’t hear at least one example of your work.
When to Pitch:

Whenever possible, we book freelance stories a full month, or more, in advance.  Look ahead on the calendar.  It’s almost never too early to tell us about a fun sporting event coming to your town.

Do us a favor and don’t expect an immediate response to pitches sent on Fridays, when we’re entirely focused on Saturday’s show.  Mondays and Tuesdays are excellent days to send us your pitch.

Payment:

Rates can be discussed with the Senior Producer.

Payment will be made through Boston University, and is subject to the University’s employment procedures.  You receive instructions on how to submit a W-9 and an invoice.  You should expect to receive your check within 4-6 weeks of submitting your paperwork.

Expenses:

We pay reasonable travel expenses.  These must be approved before the expense is incurred.  Please let us know of your expected travel costs during your original pitch, as those additional expenses will be a factor in whether we’re able to accept your story.

Technical Considerations:

If your pitch is accepted, you will be sent a long document full of technical specs.  But, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you pitch.

Please don’t pitch to us if you don’t have access to quality recording equipment.  We’re broadcast in stereo, so stereo microphones are a bonus (though not a requirement.)  Due to the nature of recording sports, a shotgun microphone is very helpful.

Unless prior arrangements are made, all pieces will be mixed by our Technical Director.  Plan to send actualities long and un-cut.  Also, sporting events often have quickly changing audio environments.  Plan to stop often to record ambience, at least 1-2 minutes at a time.

Sporting events are also very visual.  We encourage our reporters to take along a camera and submit 6-10 photos with captions for the web.  This is not a requirement, and we do not pay extra for photos.

You’ll be asked to send your sound files and photos via FTP.  A decent internet connection and knowledge of FTP is essential.