B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Apr 10 04:24:45 EDT 2000

From: Iain Rae <iainr at>
Date: 9 Apr 2000 10:48:45 -0600
Lines: 53

Diane K De wrote:
> >From: "Shaz" hypatia at
> >> I am not aware of any official "minimum show to commercial ratio".  Where
> >can I
> >> find this in writing?
> >>
> >> If the Sci-Fi Channel decides to add a few more commercials, there are no
> >> rules, regulations, or authority that I am aware of to stop them.
> >>
> >> I repeat..."that I am aware of".
> >>
> >> If there is, I'd love someone to point it out to me where I can read these
> >> regulations.
> >>
> >> DD
> >
> >Actually, it was Joe who said it was already at the bare minimum, earlier in
> >this discussion as I recall, but I may have been dreaming!
> >
> >Shaz
> >
> Then maybe he can enlighten me on what regulations he was referring to.
> The American Association of Advertising Agencies monitors "non-program content"
> and publishes the results of this monitoring on an annual basis.
> Not surprisingly, "non-program content" has been rising at a steady rate.  It
> rose in 1999 vs. 1998.  It varies by network and daypart.
> There may be voluntary "habits" and "guidelines" that networks use and the
> National Association of Broadcasters once had voluntary guidelines for its
> members.  Syndicators may follow standard principles of the industry at the
> time.
> A few of my friends are watching "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" on PAX.  They are
> reporting that entire scenes are being cut to add commercials.  That's because
> the amount of commercials that was standard for CBS in 1983-87 is well below
> what is standard for PAX now.
> Over time, the same thing could happen to Babylon 5 or any show filmed at its
> time.

Hmm... How do broadcasters in the US get licensed? in the UK the
government sells franchises which include things like % content for
minority viewers (gaelic/welsh broadcasting) and puts limits on certain
types of  programming.
> DD

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 9 Apr 2000 17:37:37 -0600
Lines: 24

The FCC mandates that there must be X minutes of programming per hour or half
hour program, depending on venue.  There is one minimum for syndication and
cable, and a slightly higher minimum for network shows.  

This is what enables syndicators and cable operations to cut down episodes in
order to cram in more comercials.

B5 ran at the syndication/cable minimum number of minutes as mandated by the
FCC, which can be found in their regs.  It cannot be cut further unless the
minimums change or have changed.


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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