This summer – that of 2016, for those who read us “deferred” – is a particular summer. At the moment the European football championships are taking place, while in August there will be the Rio Olympics. In short, the sport will be the host, as happens every two years now. And when these great media events are mentioned, the minds of fans immediately go to the TVs that broadcast them. And therefore, inevitably, also to Sky, which in recent years has been awarded the exclusivity of many of these events.
UNFORGETTABLE FACES AND VOICES
The merits of Murdoch’s TV, in terms of quality, are many (without missing some defects). On the sporting side, they have been able to invest heavily in the coverage of events but also in the formation of a fleet of journalists with excellent preparation and good communication skills. Just think of how much the scream of Fabio Caressa entered the collective imagination when, after the 2006 semifinal with Germany, he shouted “Let’s go to Berlin!” to Beppe Bergomi. Or the commentary of the NBA by Flavio Tranquillo, when it comes time for “Mark, he is fouled, he will go to the line with an extra free throw”.
In short, a large part of the success of a sporting event on TV lies in the skill of the journalist who presents it to us. But who is Sky’s most important sports reporters? We tried to select five, taking into account the curriculum, recognizability, and, of course, talent.
But maybe there is already his heir: Diletta Leotta?
We can only start here, from the face symbol of the broadcaster: Ilaria D’Amico. The Roman journalist, who in recent years has made headlines both for her public and private life, has been working in the world of sport since 1998. At that time, just 25, she was given the opportunity to collaborate for the Rai covering the 1998 World Cup in France, which would be followed by the 2000 European Championships. Having become a freelance journalist in 2001, she continued for some time to alternate broadcasts dedicated to sport with others on the most disparate topics.
She joined Sky in 2003, after a quick experience at Stream. His first broadcast on the new broadcaster was Sky Calcio Show, which introduced the Serie A championship matches. In the meantime, however, he did not give up some contracts first with Rai and then with Mediaset, a network for which he also conducted the first season of reality Campioni, the dream.
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Their fascination with the public and their professionalism in dealing with the profession also allowed her to have regular columns in newspapers such as La Gazzetta Dello Sport and important interviews such as the one granted to her in 2006 by Muammar Gaddafi.
ACTIVITIES AND PRIVATE LIFE
In recent years he has dubbed films ( Eragon ), starred in Italian films ( The coach in the ball 2 ), wrote novels ( Dove io non-sono), conducted political talk shows, and had a son by the current captain and goalkeeper of the national team. Gigi Buffon.
He is still firmly the leading face of sport on Sky, even if many already see his heir in Diletta Leotta, who in a certain sense replaced her in the hearts of many while she was on maternity leave. Only time will tell if the girl who is now the face of Serie B (and who until a few years ago announced the weather for Sky TG24 ) has what it takes to become the new D’Amico.
The voice of the national team (and not only)
If Ilaria D’Amico is the most famous among the women who work at Sky Sport, Fabio Caressa is the most famous among the men. On the other hand, the Roman journalist has for years been the voice symbol of the commentary of the Italian national team, a sort of new Pizzul of the ether, even if in reality he does not work for public TV but for a private broadcaster. In fact, Caressa had to do a lot of it, and if now we really identify him with the Azzurri matches – instead of doing it with an RAI commentator – it is because his hard work has paid off in the long run.
He made his debut in the world of journalism in the mid-1980s, working for various local Roman broadcasters. His desire, however, is to aim higher, so he graduated in Political Science from LUISS and shortly after graduated, America, in Public Speaking at UCLA in Los Angeles. All this is also followed by a specialization in Salamanca, Spain. In 1991 he was one of the very first to join Tele +, becoming a professional journalist in 1994. At the end of the decade, he became one of the main voices of the broadcaster, alternating, in the chronicle of Serie A postponements, with Massimo Marianella.
THE SCREAM AT THE 2006 WORLD CUP
This assignment gives him great notoriety and his commentaries, always very documented and spectacular, soon leave their mark. Together with Beppe Bergomi, with whom he begins to make a steady couple, he becomes the official voice of FIFA video games. Moreover, as Sky begins to win the rights for the matches of the national team, he becomes the first voice. And this brings us directly to the 2006 World Cup, where, especially during the semifinal with Germany, he probably leaves a lasting mark.
Over the years he has then collaborated with various newspapers – including Guerin Sportivo and La Gazzetta Dello Sport -, written books on football and more, and conducted programs dedicated to poker and youth myths. On the personal side, he has been married since 1999 to another journalist and small screen star such as Benedetta Parodi, who at times also hosted him in her programs dedicated to cooking. Today for the Murdoch broadcaster he continues to follow the national team, but mainly deals with the Champions League and directs Sky Sport 24, the completely sporting all-news channel entrusted to him in 2013.
The man of the World Championship
After two journalists who mainly deal with football, we change sector. And let’s do it with a journalist who hasn’t actually been on Sky for a long time since he barely joined it in 2015. But Guido Meda boasts a career that is now almost thirty years old which has made him one of the most unmistakable voices in the sports journalistic panorama Italian.
Born in Milan in 1966, he made his debut – after a brief experience at Il Giornale – at the end of the 1980s in TeleCapodistria, a private broadcaster that, for the time, was a favorite among fans. His first sector was that of winter sports: he followed various World Ski Championships and the Winter Olympics, even getting some prizes.
THE YEARS AT MEDIASET
In the 90s he then moved to Mediaset, also dealing with other specialties. For example, he followed and commented on five editions of the Giro d’Italia, as well as conducted programs dedicated to fitness and various sports. The real turning point in his career, however, came in the early 2000s, when the snaking network secured the rights to the World Championship. His voice has thus accompanied the victories of all the main riders, Italian and non, from Max Biaggi to Valentino Rossi. His way of narrating the races – participatory and at the limit of heart-pounding – contributes not a little to the success of this sport in Italy.
After years of honorable service, however, in 2014 Mediaset loses the rights of the World Championship, which pass to Sky. For a year Meda resisted the call of the sirens, contenting himself with commenting on the Superbike World Championship, but in 2015 he decided to switch to Murdoch’s TV and was immediately appointed Deputy Director of Sky Sport and director of the Motors editorial team. In addition to commenting on the MotoGP races, he has also led the Italian version of the historic Top Gear transmission since 2016.
From basketball to storytelling
As we are learning to see, there are various souls of Sky Sport. There is not only football, which in any case certainly represents the driving sport (even for subscribers), but a lot of space is also reserved for motors and so-called minor sports. First of all basketball, both in its Italian dimension, in its European dimension (with the Euroleague), and in that of the American superstars.
In the beginning, we wrote that the most representative voice of this sport is that of Flavio Tranquillo, who undoubtedly deserves to be in this five. However, we have chosen to include not him, but his companion of a thousand adventures, Federico Buffa. And we did it simply because Buffa is now a symbolic character of the broadcaster, capable of ranging from basketball to football, from the Olympics to the documentary almost seamlessly.
Born in Milan in 1959, Buffa made his debut in the world of journalism at a very young age, collaborating with Aldo Giordani’s Superbasket magazine. He became a freelance journalist in 1986, while at the same time he was commenting (together with Tranquillo) on Olimpia Milano matches and graduated in law. Lawyer, he practiced for a few years the profession of attorney for several players of the Italian league, continuing to collaborate with various newspapers.
WITH FLAVIO TRANQUILLO TO TELL THE NBA
In the 90s he switched to TV, always together with Tranquillo. First, he worked for TeleCapodistria, then moved on to Tele +, commenting on both the NCAA and the NBA. For almost twenty years he told all the most important races of the most beautiful championship in the world, extolling the achievements of Michael Jordan and his more or less worthy heirs. With Tranquillo, he has long formed a close-knit couple, also cemented by personal friendship. In the various in-depth columns that he kept for a long time for the broadcaster, however, he soon began to glimpse his love for stories and narration.
In 2014 he left the NBA to devote himself to football, a sport he had occasionally commented on in various Sky broadcasts. In fact, the broadcaster asked him to prepare a series of insights – World Stories – leading to the Brazil World Cup. He also went to Brazil as a correspondent, but the success of his mini-shows led him to launch others, dedicated to football champions but not only. In recent times he has also landed in the theater, moving away – but only temporarily – from the small screen.
Gianluca Di Marzio
The transfer market expert
There would be many journalists who deserve to be mentioned on this list. There are masters of commentary like Massimo Marianella, refined commentators like Giorgio Porrà, and increasingly skilled conductors like Anna Billò and Marco Cattaneo. And the list would still be very long. However, we decided to focus on Gianluca Di Marzio, a journalist who is still young but who has gained a great reputation over the years, above all for his ability to obtain news in bursts on the transfer market.
Born in 1974 in Castellammare di Stabia, he is the son of Gianni Di Marzio, a coach who in those years coached Juve Stabia, Catanzaro, Naples, Genoa, Lecce, Catania, Padua and a host of other teams. It was in Padua that the family – at least as regards his wife and children – decided to settle down and it is in the Venetian city that the young man attended university and started his career as a journalist. Those were the years in which the Paduan team played in Serie A and, working for various private broadcasters, Di Marzio managed to get noticed even by satellite TVs. He thus began to collaborate first with Tele + and then with Stream.
THE TRANSMISSION WITH ALESSANDRO BONAN
In the 2000s, with the birth of Sky, he joined the new team, both as a commentator and as a well-rounded journalist. In a short time, he specialized in the market, weaving a dense network of relationships that allows him to have well-founded news and be ahead of the competition. This talent of his, in recent years, has merged very well with that of Alessandro Bonan within the successful Special Calciomercato broadcast.