Commercial Delivery Specifications from Broadcasters
All of these specifications have been placed on this Wiki with the following caveat:
These specifications may be wrong
they are subject to change and broadcast outlets have been known to change specifications at the drop of a hat. Use these guidelines as a general rule and please verify the broadcaster's delivery needs in advance.
One good resource for deliverables via file is DG Fastchannel who can offer specifications before you use their service.
CBS Network Master Spec sheet 2004 - 2005 (Added 05/18/2007)
Fox Network Commercial Spec sheet from September 2006 version 1a (Added 05/18/2007)
ESPN Commercial Delivery Specifications from January, 2006 (Added 05/18/2007)
Sound on ESPN and ABC:
(From the List by Tom Edwards 05/16/2007)
From ESPN's web site:
In order to make the most of ESPN HD, look for a receiver with the SRS Circle Surround logo on the faceplate. ESPN HD uses this encoding system for their 5.1 surround sound track! Dolby Pro-Logic and Dolby Pro-Logic II decoders will also be able to produce a surround sound effect with the ESPN HD audio track. Also make sure your receiver bears the Dolby Digital and DTS logos to make the most out of all of your DVD movies.
From SRS web site:
Circle Surround delivers 5.1-surround sound in an Lt/Rt two-channel playback format. This means live television and radio can be delivered for playback and broadcast in 5.1-surround over existing stereo infrastructures. The Circle Surround-encoding process allows for the transmission and delivery of 5.1-encoded programming through virtually any broadcast chain.
For live television programming, Circle Surround not only enables the transmission of a 5.1-encoded mix over a standard definition ("SD") stereo broadcast, it also provides mono, stereo, four-channel LCRS (Left, Center, Right, Surround) and 5.1-surround compatibility in a single delivery standard with no delay introduced. Circle Surround -encoded material passes straight through existing stereo infrastructures without requiring a change in equipment. For broadcasters currently mixing in surround for high definition ("HD") delivery, Circle Surround can be used on the SD feed, enabling 100% of audiences with home theater systems to enjoy surround sound.
From a Mix Magazine article interviewing Jim Hilson of Dolby Labs:
ESPN, which like ABC is owned by Disney, also doesn't use Dolby E. (Recently, ABC dissolved its remote operations unit and turned everything over to ESPN.) To get the audio from ESPN's trucks to the network, the network uses a completely different method of encoding: SRS Labs' Circle Surround matrix encoding. In fact, Scalise's original system for delivering surround used SRS' technology for the entire signal chain — from truck to living room. “It was the simplest way to transport the audio and still be compatible,” he says. “It can be decoded with Circle Surround II and with Dolby Pro Logic II, as well as Neural Audio's decoder. It's a stereo signal until it's told not to be by a decoder.
From the DS List (DF 05.14.07)
ABC only accepts hd-d5 720p, not SR, and if they follow the same specs as espn (which they own) will only accept stereo, not surround for audio.
NBC does accept hdcam SR 2 channel w/ Dolby Pro Logic II preferred, but will accept stereo on 1&2 as well