Top 10 Theme Songs for Sports Programs

Music is a common theme on the site. Today I thought I’d tackle a subject nobody really talks about. Sports themes can be truly epic pieces of music that get you excited and in the mood to watch a quality game of football, basketball, or whatever. Here’s some of the best sports themes of all time.

The Top Ten

1 NFL on  FOX NFL on  FOX Cover Art

This iconic theme was composed by Scott Schreer and actually partially inspired by the opening theme of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film; I’m being dead serious Fox Sports president David Hill had heard the theme while waiting in line for a Batman ride at an amusement park in California, and suggested to creative director George Greenberg (who had recently defected to Fox from ABC Sports) in a phone call that the overlying theme for Fox's NFL theme music should be "Batman plays football". Greenberg enlisted Schreer to compose the theme, describing Hill's request as sounding like " Batman on steroids". Schreer and his team pitched three separate songs to Greenberg and Hill, who then spliced them together into one for the final version.

I feel like this is the theme song of the NFC.

2 Roundball Rock (NBA on NBC theme) Roundball Rock (NBA on NBC theme) Cover Art

To me this song is everything that a good sports theme should be. It’s the gold standard composed by John Tesh who came up with the song in his hotel room in the tiny village of Megeve France. He actually called and left himself a voicemail of the theme so he wouldn’t forget the song. It was used from 1990-2002 during what I call the “Golden Age” of the NBA you had Michael Jordan and the Bulls dynasty, Magic Johnson Shaquille O’Neal and the early seasons of Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant. To me this song perfectly captures the upbeat fast paced rhythm of the game. No other theme quite captures the feel of the game as this one. It really makes me wish I was alive during that time so I could experience that era of the NBA in real time

3 CBS College Basketball Theme CBS College Basketball Theme Cover Art

The current theme for CBS' coverage, simply titled "CBS NCAA Basketball Theme," was written by Bob Christianson and has been in use by the network since the 1992–1993 season.While different arrangements have been used over that time, the melody has remained largely the same. The theme has also been used for tournament coverage on TBS, TNT and truTV as part of its broadcast for the March Madness tournament. Somehow this song captures the emotion and magic this tournament brings to college Basketball (almost) every year

4 Bugler's Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley Bugler's Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley Cover Art

It's the Olympic theme song that plays on endless loop during the NBC broadcasting of the games in the US and has been for decades. (In other countries, different music is used.) While John Williams is credited with creating the song that’s only partially true.The main notes everyone knows come from "Bugler’s Dream," part of a 1958 musical suite by Frenchman Leo Arnaud. Simply put this sounds like a National Anthem Sports theme crossover. Just listening to the brass and cymbals and hearing the BUM—BUM—ba-ba-ba-BAH-BAH sound just hits so hard few themes can top it

5 Monday Night Football Monday Night Football Cover Art

Originally called “Heavy Action” composed by Johnny Pearson this song originates in 1970 with a strong brass fanfare it has been used for ABC/ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast in 1975 but wasn’t official until 1989. The theme was also used in “Superstars”

6 Sunday Night Football on NBC Sunday Night Football on NBC Cover Art

John Williams composed the instrumental theme music, titled "Wide Receiver," for Sunday Night Football. For Super Bowl XLIII, NBC commissioned Joel Beckerman of Man Made Music to create new instrumental cues adding techno and rock elements around the main brass melody. These cues replaced the original Williams arrangements full-time at the start of the 2009 season.

This never fails to get me excited for some good football games.

7 NFL on CBS NFL on CBS Cover Art

Here we have a song that was introduced in Super Bowl XXVI it was composed by Frankie Vinci the theme had a bombastic, epic and strikingly catchy hook, with the rest of the composition featuring a jazzy feel with some electric guitar mixed in. CBS used this theme until the end of the 1993 Season when they lost NFL coverage to FOX. The song made its return when CBS was back in NFL coverage in 1998. It has gotten some updates since then but has remained the same theme overall throughout the years

Like what the Fox intro is to the NFC, I feel like this is the theme song for the AFC.

8 MLB on FOX MLB on FOX Cover Art

It’s unclear what the scientific explanation is, but the “MLB on FOX” theme song paired with the image of a stud ace-pitcher putting on his jacket as he finishes his pre-game warm-up in the bullpen and proceeding to walk towards the dugout has always worked wonders for me. Also apparently they used the NFL theme for a few years but have brought this theme back in 2020

9 Augusta- Dave Loggins (The Masters on CBS) Augusta- Dave Loggins (The Masters on CBS) Cover Art

At #10 we have an iconic theme song that really doesn’t sound like a sports theme song. It goes for a calm and relaxing vibe instead of hype and upbeat. Songwriter Dave Loggins wrote the tune, simply called "Augusta," in 1981 after visiting Augusta National, the home of the Masters, for the tournament in April. Loggins got his inspiration from the Par 4 14th hole. It’s been a staple of the broadcast on CBS since 1982.

10 CBS College Football Theme Song - Lloyd Landesman CBS College Football Theme Song - Lloyd Landesman Cover Art

This is a classic College Football theme that often plays for SEC games. It was created by Lloyd Landesman in hopes of being selected as the intro theme for Super Bowl 21 But Ever since the 1987 season, Landesman's theme song, which never got an official name, has opened every college football broadcast on CBS and has become an anthem of sorts for the SEC, which airs its featured game on the network every Saturday afternoon. I don’t know what it is but this song just fits so well with college football no other song would fit quite as perfectly

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