Broadcast Requirements for Commercials and Informercials

Editor’s Note: Broadcast Requirements vary from station to station. It’s always wise to ask rather than to assume. The information below is from an agency and represents typical technical requirements for broadcasting video. To see the more complete pdf version of this information

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Broadcast Requirements

Master Tape Specifications

Purpose: To ensure that all technical and content broadcast requirements are met for all :30, :60, :120 and 30 minute direct response programming.

Responsible Parties: Production House, Editor

  • 1. All master tapes must have DROP FRAME time code.
  • 2. All program masters must be formatted as follows:
  • 1:58:30:00 to 1:59:30:00 NTSC Bars and Tone

    1:59:30:00 to 1:59:50:00 Slate

    1:59:50:00 to 1:59:49:00 Count down

  • 3. Audio mixed MONO or STEREO on both channels 1 and 2.
  • 4. Video levels not to exceed 100 I.R.E and blacks at 7.5 See Details in the PDF.

    Responsible Parties: Producer, Editor

    • 1 All masters to arrive 48 hours prior to first dub ship date.
    • 2 Masters accepted in DigiBeta, BetaSP or one-inch formats. (DigiBeta is preferred format.)
    • 3 Slate containing the following information:
    • Show title, version, producer, client, editor, production company, date produced, audio mix and length.
    • 4 All spots must be on a separate master with bars, tone and slate. Each program must start at 1:00:00:00 (one hour) to comply with broadcast standards.
    • 5 All duplicate masters or alternate versions must have matching time code of the original.
    • 6 EDL (Edit Decision List) for 800# placement to be sent with tape (may be faxed or emailed to coordinate with arrival of tape).
    • 7 SCRIPT for customized voice over to be sent with tape (may be faxed or emailed to coordinate with arrival of tape).


    Responsible Parties: Producer

    Infomercials (30 Minute Only)

    1. Audio and Video disclosures at the beginning and end of each program.

    Audio and Video must be identical to each other.

    Example: The following/preceding is/has been a paid advertisement by (advertiser) for (product)

    2. Video disclosure prior to each CTA (Call To Action). Minimum five seconds in length and 14-point type. Example:

    This is a paid advertisement by (advertiser) for (product).

    All Programs (:30, :60, :120 and 30 Minute

    1 All programs must include, on the order page, the street address and name of advertiser per California Business Code. 14-point type is smallest allowed.

    2 Money back guarantee must state that it is less shipping and handling.


    1 All programs intended for air on Canadian border stations must include

    “US Funds Only” on the order page.


    Responsible Parties: Client, Producer


  • 1 28:30
  • 2 27:30 (CNBC)
  • 3 27:40 (Court TV)
  • 4 27:30 with one-minute hole at 15-minute mark for a total length of 28:30 (Outdoor Life)
  • 5 28:00 (Fox Family, Inspiration)
  • 6 27:55 (SCI-FI)
  • Spots

    1 ESPN will not allow spots with language or visuals that encourage viewers to call “within the next 10 minutes” for an upgrade. As ESPN is a viable outlet for some products, it is advised that a version be produced that does not feature this pitch.

    NOTE: Client execution of Agreement to which this information is attached, denotes that said Client has read and fully understands the requirements presented in this Master Tape Specifications document. Client further understands that noncompliance with the specifications herein may compromise our ability to send broadcast dubs out on schedule and Client will be responsible for any liabilities that we may incur as a result.

    Year: 2002

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