All Kentucky Channel programs must meet certain production quality standards; however, the production quality should never fall below what an average viewer might see on C-SPAN. Following are some specific guidelines on length, format, and funding and product offer tags.
All programs must be standard broadcast length (half-hour, hour, etc.). Half-hour programs should have a length of 26:40. While content sometimes dictates a longer or shorter length, half-hour programs must not exceed 28:00 and must not be less than 25:00.
One-hour programs should have a 56:40 running time, with the same flexibility as described above. Ninety-minute programs should run 86:40; two-hour programs should run 1:56:40.
Master programs must be submitted on XD Cam disk, DV Cam (miniDV is acceptable) or BetaSP. File sharing and other forms of media are acceptable but must be approved in advance by KET Program Operations. Programs must be fully edited and ready for broadcast. VHS tapes are not acceptable for broadcast. Master tapes will be returned upon request.
Tapes submitted must be labeled on both the tape container and the tape itself. The following information must be included on the label:
- program or series title
- episode number/episode subtitle
- program’s actual run time in hours/minutes/seconds
- stereo or mono audio
- name of producing entity (producer/company name)
The producer retains copyright to the program. There is no compensation for broadcast on the Kentucky Channel or other KET channels; however, producers may attach a video offer at the end of the program for home video sales or other program-specific material. This must be done prior to sending in the master tape to KET. For exact wording of these offers, see Program Offer Specifications below.
The producer will sign a Letter of Agreement granting KET multicast rights to accepted programs. In addition, the producer will complete a Programming Fact Sheet that will provide information about the program for KET’s Communications Division to help promote the program.
PBS and KET have established specific standards and practices for underwriting/funding credits that all programs appearing on public television are required to follow. They are designed to reveal to the public all funding of a program and to show that no relationship exists between the funder and the editorial control of program content. All underwriters and sponsors of submitted programs must be reported and fully disclosed in the credits.
- All entities contributing to a program/series on public television must be acknowledged. Those who contribute financially, by providing funds for the production, are called program underwriters. The FCC requires that they be identified in relation to the programs funded.
- The purpose of underwriter credits is to identify the entities that have provided funding for the production. Identification is limited to name, location, and business purpose. Established corporate slogans may be used to identify the funder.
- The entity identified as the underwriter must be the actual contributing entity.
- Underwriters must be identified at the conclusion of a program. Underwriters may be identified at the beginning of a program as well. If the program’s content is controversial, the underwriters must be identified at both the open and the close of the program.
- Underwriters are not identified in the program production credits.
- Underwriters may not receive a “special thanks” credit. “Special Thanks,” which are part of the production credits, are reserved for those who provided in-kind goods and/or services, not program funding.
- When one underwriter is identified, all must be identified, in an “underwriter pod,” separate and distinct in style from the program’s production credits.
WHEN? AND FOR HOW LONG?
- By and large, all entities underwriting a series must appear on all episodes of the season they are underwriting.
- The underwriting announcements (aka “the pod”) may not exceed one minute (1:00).
- You may acknowledge as many underwriters in one minute as will comfortably fit, but no single underwriter’s credit may exceed fifteen seconds (0:15).
- No underwriter should exceed 20 words past “this program is made possible by X.”
- An underwriter credit may not contain qualitative claims, calls to action, comparisons, pricing information, or any other language that is deemed promotional.
- A product manufactured by an underwriter may be mentioned once at the head of the underwriter, immediately following identification (example: WidgetCo, maker of Widgets). The brand name may not be repeated.
- No more than five products or services may be mentioned or listed (example: SewCo, makers of yarn, thread, patterns, needles, and thimbles).
- The use of people in underwriter credits is strictly regulated by the FCC. Consult with us before including any underwriter credit featuring people.
- An underwriter credit may not feature a sung jingle. Music is allowable; music with words is not.
- Slogans that contain calls for action, qualitative claims, pricing information, or other objectionable language are not allowable even if they are established. (Example: “Get Met—it pays,” even though well established as a slogan for the Metropolitan Life insurance company, is not allowed because it is a call for action.)
- Product placement, or the perception of product placement, must be avoided.
- “Pay-for-play” arrangements—i.e., featuring a location, product, or service in exchange for production funding—are forbidden.
Producers may offer certain related goods and services for sale at the end of the program. Items such as DVDs, tapes, CDs, books, transcripts, or other program-specific material can be offered in an announcement at the end of the program. The producer is responsible for creating this announcement and for placing it on the tape. The announcement can run as soon as the program content has ended and before the credits begin, or as soon as the credits have completed. Program offers can be no longer than 15 seconds.
The overall tone and appearance of the announcement must be informational rather than promotional. Both voice-over delivery and video treatment should be developed with the objective of providing a viewer service, not a commercial sales opportunity. Hosts or talent from the program may not be used in the on-air offer announcement.
Suggested copy for offer announcement: “To order a DVD or VHS of [said program], call 1-800-XXX-XXXX or write to the address on your screen.”
No credit cards, delivery services, or shopping services may be named.
Audio must include the following:
- title of item (preferably include program title)
- type of item
- phone number (may be voiced only once)
- “... or write to the address on your screen.” (if address is included)
Video must include the following:
- title of item (again, be specific and include the program title)
- type of item (product may be depicted or fonted; e.g., “audiocassette”)
- phone number and possibly address (but no address in split-screen offers)
- “Offer Made by XYZ” (This disclosure is required by law.)
Price of the item is also helpful but is not required.
If you have any questions about our technical specifications, don’t hesitate to contact us at (859) 258-7275. It’s better to check first than to have to go back and change something.