RULE 9: Operational Issues
- Editing. Stations have the right to edit out offer announcements on PBS programs but may not insert any other announcements of program-related offers in their place or in any other part of a PBS program.
Comment: This rule establishes a limited exception to PBS's prohibition against stations editing PBS programs, in recognition that some stations may wish not to air certain announcements even though they are directly related to the program itself. The availability of a program may not be conditioned on a station's agreement to broadcast these announcements.
- Placement on Programs. Offers of the following items are permitted to appear between the end of main program content and the closing PBS logo: (a) transcripts (printed, audio cassette, or videocassette), including videocassettes of other episodes of a series that are serially connected to the episode in which the offer appears (e.g., an offer of the entire "Jewel in the Crown" series on a "Jewel in the Crown" episode of MASTERPIECE THEATRE) ; (b) companion works (defined as an underlying work upon which the program or series is substantially based, or a derivative work that contains substantially the same material as appears in the program or series); (c) viewer guides (synopses, reading lists, etc.); (d) learning materials (textbooks, workbooks, etc.); (e) college credit or course information; or (f) mentions (not offers for sale) of the availability of any of the above items in book stores or elsewhere.
Unless they qualify for a combination offer as described in the final paragraph of this section, program-related items that do not fall within any of the foregoing categories must appear after the PBS logo, preferably as the first element following the logo. These include items such as: (a) videocassettes of episodes from a series that are not serially connected to the episode on which the offer appears (e.g., an offer of "Jewel in the Crown" on "The Bretts" episodes of MASTERPIECE THEATRE); (b) compilations of series and other material.
An offer announcement may also appear immediately after the PBS logo in intermissions permitted by PBS Program Management.
When the fulfillment entity is the same for all items being offered, whether the items qualify for pre-logo placement or post-logo placement, a combination offer is generally preferred. This means that post-logo items may be offered with pre-logo items in a pre-logo :15 offer; or vice versa, in a post-logo offer of up to :30.
The offer should not come between the production credits and the funding credits.
Comment: FCC rules provide only that announcements may not interrupt regular programming. Hence, we have limited the placement of announcements to those breaks in which PBS rules permit the placement of underwriting credits or optional fill material.
- Placement on Program Promos. Offers may not appear in program promos except where it is determined that such materials would be valuable to viewers' understanding of program content in advance of broadcast to be used most effectively. This rule recognizes that advance receipt of program-related materials may encourage viewing and enhance viewer participation in certain programs. (These guidelines do not cover "stand-alone" offers. Such announcements are, in part, the subject of other policy considerations and may be distributed independently of a PBS program in any event.)
- Program Length. PBS's standard program lengths are meant to be inclusive of all offers of program-related materials and fill material, whether placed before or after the PBS logo. Finished programs may not vary from these standard lengths.
- Subsequent Releases. If the items offered are no longer available for subsequent releases of the program, it is the producer's responsibility, at its own expense, to remove the offer and substitute material which fills out the program to the standard length. (See Red Book.)
PBS Production Guidelines