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millardgroups@gmail.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 3

Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:05 pm    Post subject: Overlapping Commercials on Cable TV

need to calculate the odds that commercial breaks will overlap on cable
TV.

Here's the situation.... cable TV networks offer local commercial time
to cable operators. The local operators get two minutes every hour.

Commercial ad inserters that can playback from one to five commercials
at a time. These systems can monitor eight channels.

Given that:

There are eight networks being monitored
There is one local break each hour on each network
Each local break lasts 120 seconds
You can only start inserting ads at the beginning of the 120
seconds (no joining in progress)

What percentage of local commercial breaks will I be able to cover
if I have:

-- One MPEG card
-- Two MPEG cards
-- Three MPEG cards
-- Four MPEG cards
-- Five MPEG cards

I've tried to calculate this myself, but my statistics days are far
back in college... I just don't trust my results.

Thanks!
Jay Cole
science forum beginner

Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 2

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Overlapping Commercials on Cable TV

How does the MPEG card work. Is it for recording the commericials or
playback? What is the "lag time" between record/play on one station
and then switching to another? i.e. If these were used to play a
commerical on one station, and then on another, it would take time to
switch the station and start the commericial (but for the calculation
it would probably be ok to ignore this). Also, are we assuming that
the seeding of the 120 sec. periods on the eight stations are random,
normally distributed?
millardgroups@gmail.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 3

 Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Overlapping Commercials on Cable TV You've raised a point that I hadn't thought about...For the purpose of this calculation, I think we would have to assume a random spread and deal with the fact that the actual % might be lower. The most consistent times are at 28 after each hour and 58 after the hour. Any programming working on a half hour schedule would have to hit those breaks very consistently (i.e.: headline news, :30 minute dramas/comedies/etc) .Outside of this, the break times have a natural variance depending on the needs of the show. A producer would generally try for a break somewhere around every ten minutes, but it really depends on what is going on in the show. This need to hit the :28 and :58 breaks and the general attempt to put the other four breaks at about every ten minutes might slant the results slightly. Regarding the MPEG card... the cards on the playback machine are only used for playback, so they are 100% available for inserting commercials. The lag time between switching to another station is small enough that we can ignore it for this calculation. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

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