How are TV shows transmitted from the production company to a network?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Don Black, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    When Warner Bros. produces an episode of "Friends" for NBC, how does WB "give" that episode to NBC? Do they send it over a satellite link? Do they send a DVD or DAT?

    Taking it a step further, how does NBC distribute that episode to its affiliates? I would think via satellite. But does NBC send each show in advance so that each affiliate can insert its own commercials? Or does NBC just send everything live and the affiliates can do real-time commercial insertion?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mike Slade

    Mike Slade Second Unit

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    Not sure about the first part but I think going to the affiliates most network programming is on a live network satellite feed. The affiliate then adds in local commercials when the spots for those are available. Could be wrong about that but I think that's how it works.
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    That's pretty much it, at least how it was done eight years ago. Master Control gets a detailed time log and the operator switches to the local commercial "server" (which at the time it was an automated tower of Betacam tapes, but which I'm sure is hard drive units now) at the appropriate time.

    Not sure about production company to network, but I would imagine via satellite. Why risk a physical delivery error when it can be beamed over and recorded on the appropriate medium?
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Physical media is usually the better way to go.
     
  5. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. Does anyone know how the production company gets the show to the network though? Do they just mail a DBeta tape?
     
  6. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    I remember when I used to have an old C-Band Sat. You could watch the X-Files at like 8 o'clock on Sunday morning and it was that nights episode and free of commercials. I miss those days...

    As for getting to a production company, I dunno, sorry.
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Fed-Ex....seriously.
     
  8. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Mark,

    So Warner Bros. FedExed NBC a DBeta tape for each episode of Friends? Thanks!
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Well, I don't know 100%, but that's how a lot of stuff is transferred around the industry.
     
  10. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    If the studios/production company are all in the same area bike messenger![​IMG]
     

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