Technical Requirements

Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, independent producers, government agencies, and others who share and value KET’s mission are invited to submit Kentucky-centered programs to be considered for broadcast on the Kentucky Channel.

Please review the information below, as well as the Program Submission Overview and Editorial Guidelines.


Technical Requirements for Programs Submitted to KET

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. The following are specific guidelines on length, format, and funding and product offer tags.

Length
All programs must be a standard broadcast length. “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 or be less than 25:00.

“One-hour” programs should have a length of 56:40, with the same flexibility as described above. “Ninety-minute” programs should run 86:40; “two-hour” programs should run 1:56:40.

Format
If your program is accepted for broadcast, a master file may be submitted as an MPEG-4 AVC QuickTime, MPEG-4 XDCAM EX35 Quicktime, or ProRes 422 LT QuickTime file. A master may also be submitted on XDCAM, DVCAM (miniDV is acceptable) or BetaSP. Detailed parameters, including FTP credentials and formatting details, will be provided by KET.

Programs must be fully edited and ready for broadcast. DVDs and VHS tapes are not acceptable for broadcast.

Physical media (e.g. XDCAM, DVCAM) submitted must be labeled on both the container and the media 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)
      • copyright

Copyright
The producer retains copyright to the program. The producer will sign a Programming and Content Distribution Agreement granting KET broadcast and online streaming rights to accepted programs.

Underwriting/Sponsors/Funding
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 any relationship that 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.

WHO?

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.

WHAT?

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.

WHERE?

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 (“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…”

FURTHERMORE …

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.

Video Sales and Program Offers
There is no compensation for broadcast on KET, KET2, or the Kentucky Channel. However, producers may include a video offer at the end of the program for home video sales, or sales of other program-specific material.

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 editing it onto the end of the program. This must be done prior to sending the master file to KET. 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 offer announcement.

Suggested copy for offer announcement: “To order a DVD or Blu-ray of this program, call 1-800-XXX-XXXX or visit www.example.com.”

No credit cards, delivery services, or shopping services may be named.

Audio must include the following:

      1. title of item (preferably include program title)
      2. type of item
      3. phone number (may be voiced only once)
      4. website address (may be voiced only once)

Video must include the following:

      1. title of item (again, be specific and include the program title)
      2. type of item (product may be depicted or fonted; e.g., “Blu -ray”)
      3. phone number and website address
      4. “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. It’s better to check first than to have to go back and change something.