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Join Date: May 2002
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Just to give you some inside baseball, stations do not have the complete library of Seinfeld or any current syndicated program. Each episode is fed about 2 days ahead of air date. The Seinfeld you see on Monday was fed to the station on Thursday so the station only keeps about 3 or 4 episodes at any one time for a certain broadcast time.
Seinfeld, like many other syndicated programs, will allow what is called "double runs" meaning the show has two airings a day. The first run is normally repeated about 2 to 3 weeks later in the second run time slot. In my own stations case, we air first run Seinfeld at 11pm and the second run at 11:30pm. The same episode that aired at 11pm will rerun again in the second airing about 2 weeks later. The difference between the airings are the national commercials Sony (the distributor) has sold. For that reason, stations do not hold on to the episodes beyond the air date. The next airing (two weeks later) will have different national commercials/sponsors. So stations are constantly ingesting the latest feeds of syndicated programs so the correct national commercials are played. If a station doesn't, they lose the rights to broadcast that show. Those national commercials pay most of the distribution freight for these shows.
Stations for years have been getting syndicated programming via file delivery services instead of real time sat feds as in the old days. The best known was Pathfire (they were recently bought out and the name has changed to something else, but everyone still calls it Pathfire). A station has a terminal and a server and the programs just magically appear on the server several days ahead of airing to be taped or ingested into a stations playback server. When HD came along, the download servers were too small to handle the size of HD programs (an average Seinfeld HD 30 minute show in professional HD format is about 12G) so distributors have gone back to real time feds for the HD distribution until the servers are upgraded to handle the larger files. Server companies have now just started to install HD servers. We just got one from a company called Pitch Blue that not only will distribute HD commercials but HD programming as well. Any HD programming is suppose to start sometime this spring is what we have been told. I am not sure if the commercials have started to be honest but the hardware is sitting there running. Waiting.
Right now, the 5 syndicated HD programs we take, we get them off sat feeds since the HD versions are not available via download servers yet.
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