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80s Channel 4 Commercial Breaks....

... or, more interestingly, the lack of them! (June 2011)

TT
Tumble Tower Meridian (South) South Today
They didn't always play the 4-note sting over the ident. At the starts of some programmes, they just showed a static 4 and no jingle, plus the announcement of the programme. It was only certain programme starts that they played the jingle, when they did play it they tended to have animation (4 breaking up and reassembling).

If they had to pay 3.50 each time the jingle was played, it's hardly surprising they didn't play it every programme start in order to save money.
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GS
Gavin Scott Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
They didn't always play the 4-note sting over the ident. At the starts of some programmes, they just showed a static 4 and no jingle, plus the announcement of the programme. It was only certain programme starts that they played the jingle, when they did play it they tended to have animation (4 breaking up and reassembling).

If they had to pay 3.50 each time the jingle was played, it's hardly surprising they didn't play it every programme start in order to save money.


Ahead of a programme that may have cost 100,000 to broadcast, do you really think the 3.50 was a consideration?

78 days later

SC
Si-Co Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Example here of a YTV VT Clock accidentally shown during a 1983 commercial break on Channel 4:

*

For comparison, a Tyne Tees VT clock shown on Channel 4, certainly in use around 1987, and captured around that time. I believe that this 'ITV Clocks' thing had something to do with semi-automation in use to run the breaks, but I may be mistaken:

*

jjne mentioned something about this way back in the 'Networked ITV...' thread I believe.
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84 days later

SC
Si-Co Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
You learn something new every day, and I've just learned something about early Channel Four. Some of the ITV regions had an arrangement with Four for their own announcers to be heard on the fourth channel, cross-promoting ITV programmes at commercial break points,and effectively opting out of the 'coming next' announcement by the Channel Four announcer.



There's an example in the above 1986 clips, at about 01:45, of Trish Bertram announcing from LWT (or TVS) but being heard on Channel Four. Trish herself has confirmed to me that this was the case, and notice there is no cue-dot during Trish's announcement - this disappears after the promo when LWT/TVS opt-out of the Channel Four feed. Perhaps this was done when locally-scheduled programmes were being shown on ITV?

It certainly was never the case 'oop north' - Tyne Tees announcers were never heard on Channel Four. If I hadn't seen this clip, and had it confirmed by Trish herself, I wouldn't have believed such an arrangement was ever in place! I assume LWT/TVS were one of the few companies who did this?
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BE
Ben Founding member London London
That clip would be from LWT, I believe Trish started her career with LWT announcing for channel 4 only. I've only ever seen LWT examples of this so not even sure it happened anywhere else, unless they used live announcers to plug TV Times to fill up the gaps in the ad breaks.
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DE
deejay Oxford
Fascinating find Sci-Co, thanks. I had no idea they did that either, do you know for how long this arrangement happened? I suppose as Channel 4 was routed through regional MCRs for insertion of regional advertising, being able to do regional cross promos was relatively straight forward, though they would have to route it through the local continuity suite I presume (unless they built separate continuity suites for Channel 4).
Two minutes regions...
IS
Inspector Sands
Yes, I have heard an ex-LWT person refer there being a 'Channel 4 continuity suite' at the South Bank. Yes, as they had to put adverts into the channel all day it would have been straightforward as long as they had the correct slides for the ready in advance.

Presumably the reason it had to be done locally and not networked was because Bullseye was at a different time in every region although if that was only going out in London I'm surprised they didn't brand it 'LWT' rather than 'ITV'.

Ben posted:
That clip would be from LWT, I believe Trish started her career with LWT announcing for channel 4 only.

It must have been quite a regular thing if they hired someone especially for it, again presumably because the weekend schedules weren't as networked so there was less cross-promotion
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 15 December 2011 12:11pm - 4 times in total
SC
Si-Co Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I can see how feasable it was for any region to insert whatever it liked into the C4 feed, as C4 at the time was routed through the ITV stations - but all the same, the arrangement surprises me, particular as it was unheard of in my part of the country. There weren't even any pre-recorded 'voiceover-a-slide' ads on C4 up here.

Trish says quite a few regions pre-recorded announcements to play out on Four (she seems to mean cross-promotions like the one in the clip, rather than ads), but LWT were the only ITV station to insert live continuity. It must have seemed odd having a different announcer at the start of the ad-break to the duty C4 announcer heard at the end of it!

I'm not sure how long this went on for, but will try and find out. Don't want to bombard Trish with too many questions!
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SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Here's something else that I hadn't realised until recently that C4 pres used to do in the 80s... in-vision continuity at closedown!

Write that down in your copybook now.
SC
Si-Co Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Here's something else that I hadn't realised until recently that C4 pres used to do in the 80s... in-vision continuity at closedown!



This lasted until around late 1983, I think. There's a few others on the 'tube', including a one featuring Veronica Hyks which has a different background, and is from later in 1983.

EDIT: Here we are, for ease of reference:

Last edited by Si-Co on 15 December 2011 8:33pm
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BE
benriggers Meridian (South) Oxford

Not a mock!
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MI
Michael
I wouldn't have thought so, the tune was essentially a jingle package commissioned for the station. No different to a radio station's jingle package. Just the initial one off fee ?


Interestingly, a similar case is happening at the moment with BBC Radio Two:

HaggisSupper on DS posted:
Jingle companies were "invited" to pitch for a new Radio 2 jingle package away back in January 2011 with a submission date of February.

However, like the McCasso situation with the BBC local "network" semi-generic jingles, the contract was being operated via BBC Worldwide which meant THEY and not BBC Programming were controlling the procurement.

US company Grooveworx, who had held the existing main contract since approx 1997 and the last JAM package, were eventually "awarded" the new contract in June this year.

BBC WW though had imposed certain commercial conditions on the contract, especially one where THEY demanded all the worldwide publishing rights & royalties to the proposed package - i.e. the jingle company would only get paid for creating & producing it - saving & earning the BBC's commercial arm a fortune in playout royalties, but meaning the jingle company would simply cover its costs.

Anyone who knows the jingle game knows that custom packages only break even as a production commission - but really earn their keep via re-sings & airplay royalties, all of which in this case would be denied to the producer but theoretically raked in by WW.

Even though Groove "won" the contract, BBC Worldwide insisted on their demands, so for probably the first time in jingle history a jingle producer actually walked away from a large officially-won-and-awarded contract from a prestige client.

On their website Grooveworx also published their "demo" of the prototype cuts they prepared for the "competition", with some appropriate comments about BBC WW's attitude.

Worth saying - the creative "radio people" at the BBC WERE NOT those who blew this - purely the non-comprending "money-makers" at BBC Worldwide


http://www.grooveworx.com/jingles/bbc2/


With a nod to HaggisSupper on DS

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