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Air Time Services

Media That's Just Right for Your Message

Getting your TV commercial finished is an exciting time - your company name up on the screen, wrapped in a message that's sure to captivate your customer. Congratulations!

Now, you may be asking:

How do I run a TV campaign, anyway?

Getting on the air is a two step process - approval and scheduling. We've developed a unique program to ensure the air-ability and optimum placement of your TV commercial.

Ad Evaluation and Air Time Research Services

Is my finished video up to spec, and ready to air on TV?

Ad Evaluation is a check-up of your TV ad that helps you uncover and fix issues BEFORE airing. Over 90% of TV ad productions have issues that could spell rejection at the networks. Ad Evaluation is a unique service that aims to help your ad meet FCC and other federal regulations, technical specs and content standards of the TV networks.

Where should I really be placing my TV ad schedule?

Air time rate research helps you explore your market and how to reach customers cost-effectively. Whether you're our TV production client or an advertiser with your own TV spot, we can help you find out what networks, times, and shows suit your budget and your campaign.

Ad Evaluation and Air Time Rate Research services start at only $99 per service (you'll receive a complete report).

Clearance: What Is It?

Networks will not consider scheduling your ad without first approving it.

TV commercials in the U.S. must undergo a technical/content evaluation by the network that would air it, called "Clearance." Due to FCC laws, FDA regulations, community standards, and technical issues, the network inspects each commercial for compliance. If it does not pass, the network's answer is "NO." Your ad could be turned down at the last minute - and you won't get on the air.

By our own estimates, over 90% of TV commercial productions require adjustments to be TV-broadcast-ready.

We review and evaluate your client-supplied commercial before we make recommendations on your media buy and campaign. Most of the outside-produced ads we have handled over the years require one or more adjustments to make them broadcast-ready. Why? Candidly, in these days of cheap "pro-sumer" electronics, amateur online video, wannabe producers, the explosion in new video formats, and new, stricter government rules, it's common for us to see ads that are not viable for TV broadcast, even if they are made by someone with a bit of video experience.

Broadcast-ready: A television commercial that meets the technical specifications required for successful signal transmission on the public airwaves, and which meets the content requirements set forth by television networks and/or TV stations where it is intended to air.

Some business owners ask a friend or relative to create a TV commercial for them, call up a wedding videographer, or they ask their web geek who's never created anything for TV before. With the many new technical video formats available, and the ever more stringent requirements of the TV networks, most videographers simply can't guess what will be required.

Frankly, we've received client-submitted commercials that cost the advertiser $100,000 or more, yet they still did not meet even basic TV network broadcast specifications. Ouch. Clearly those producers didn't lack for experience (or maybe moxy, given the price), but they simply missed adhering to current broadcast specs.


Be sure your ad is in shape for your campaign. We "scope" your commercial for both technical and content aspects. You get a detailed, easy to read report with concrete technical data, action items, and next steps.

Complete evaluation: $99 per 30 or 60-second TV commercial. Includes detailed technical and creative report. (Ad Evaluation automatically included at $0 fee, for our Cheap TV SpotsĀ® TV production clients.)

Get Objective Analysis: Think of us as your own personal Quality Assurance team. You get an objective and thorough outside review that you won't likely get from your video producer (who's too close to the project), a freelance media buyer (who lacks the technical knowledge) or the networks (who don't have time).

You'll have valuable, actionable information about the network air-ability of your TV commercial production

Industry secret: Television stations and cable outlets are more likely to accept an ad (and even give it extra, free bonus airings) if they like the look of the ad, and if it fits well with their programming. Why? Great-looking ads that also play back technical-error-free make a network look good - good ads retain viewers better than junky ones.

Evaluation F.A.Q.:

• Why not just send the ad to the network and see what happens? - Networks will NOT schedule air time for an ad that they have not approved for Clearance. The networks do NOT repair your ad or make "exceptions." If your ad is rejected, you won't get on the air, and the network won't likely tell you exactly why. But we will tell you, so you can be ready to air.

• I think my ad looks great - why would I need your evaluation? - We've successfully submitted our own in-house TV productions to numerous networks over the years - we know what they're looking for. Many clients have supplied their own ads to us for airing, too. While the spot may delight the business owner, we've seen many competent video producers make mistakes that would spell network rejection: Issues in technical areas; content that could send up a regulatory red flag; or they just don't convey the message well.

• My ad aired elsewhere - obviously I don't need it checked out. - Due to the recent, more strict standards imposed by federal law as recently as December 2012, and the digital transition of 2007, over 90% of the client-supplied ads we receive are not ready to pass network clearance as-is. Fortunately, most issues are easy to fix. The Evaluation report shows you where any problems are, and offers doable solutions.

• What happens if my ad doesn't meet spec? - You have options. Your producer can make corrections according to the details provided in your report. If the producer is not available to make the changes, or does not feel competent to attempt them, we can often make adjustments for you at a reasonable rate.


Once the ad is ready for broadcast, we can help you explore the cable and broadcast outlets.

Get up-to-the-minute pricing on the network, daypart, or show you desire, or we can make media recommendations based on your customer demographic and budget*.

Custom current air time rate research: $99 per network, daypart, or program/show. $499 for up to 5 networks.

FOREIGN COUNTRIES - Due to the additional research and correspondence required for foreign (outside the USA) markets, the Air Time Research rate starts at $499 per country. Additional fees may apply.

*Air time is a commodity: Prices fluctuate daily (sometimes hourly) and are dependent upon availability at the time of purchase. The Agency cannot guarantee any specific pricing or placement, as these factors are under the control of the networks.



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