Television timeout

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A television timeout (alternately TV timeout or media timeout) is a break in a televised live event to allow television advertisements to be shown. This allows commercial broadcasters to take an advertising break without causing viewers to miss part of the action.

Programs making use of timeouts are usually live-action sporting events. However, other live programs occasionally make use of timeouts for advertising purposes, such as the Eurovision Song Contest.

Use by sport[edit]

  • American football (NFL): The National Football League requires twenty commercial breaks per game, with ten in each half. (Exceptions to this are overtime periods, which have none.) These breaks run either a minute, or two minutes in length. Of the ten commercial breaks per half, two are mandatory: at the end of the first or third quarter, and at the two-minute warning for the end of the half. The remaining eight breaks are optional.[1] The timeouts can be applied after field goal tries, conversion attempts for both one and two points following touchdowns, changes in possession either by punts or turnovers, and kickoffs (except for the ones that start each half, or are within the last five minutes). The breaks are also called during stoppages due to injury, instant replay challenges, when either of the participating teams uses one of its set of timeouts, and if the network needs to catch up on its commercial advertisement schedule. The arrangement for college football contests is the same, except for the absence of the two-minute warning.
  • Baseball: No formal television timeout, but the interval between the end of a half-inning is set between two and three minutes for televised games, and during pitching changes that happen in the middle of an inning for the pitcher to warm up.
  • Basketball
    • College men: At the first dead ball after 4-minute intervals (beyond the 16:00, 12:00, 8:00 and 4:00 minute mark of each half).[2] Additionally, the first 30-second team timeout in the second half is expanded to a television timeout.[citation needed] If free throws are to be shot, a timeout is taken first.[citation needed] Effective with the 2015–16 season, when a team calls a timeout within the 30-second window before the next scheduled TV timeout break, the called timeout takes the place of the scheduled TV timeout.[3] A similar rule in the NBA is used when a 20-second timeout is called but a team's mandatory timeout point has been reached.[2]
    • College women and FIBA: Media timeouts are taken at the first dead ball after the 5:00 mark in each quarter. Any called timeout before the 5-minute mark of a quarter becomes the media timeout. Organisers have the option in FIBA play to implement a television timeout at the next dead ball following the same point.[4]
    • NBA: "Mandatory timeouts" are called at the first dead ball after the 6:00 and 3:00 marks in each quarter and after the 9:00 mark in the second and fourth quarters. First mandatory timeout is charged to the home team and second TV timeout is charged to the away team (or whichever team has not been charged previously in that quarter), assuming no other full 1:40 timeouts have been called, which replace the mandatory TV timeouts. In addition, a timeout after the 3:00 mark in the second and fourth quarters is called but not charged to either team, if neither team has called one prior to that point. If they do, then the "official's timeout" (as it is called) is given at the first minute mark in which it is not taken early by either team.[5]
  • Bowling: Varies.[vague]
  • Cricket: Generally at the end of some overs as the field switches around, when a wicket falls, during drinks breaks and during intervals. In the 2009 season of the Indian Premier League of Twenty20 cricket, the halfway point of each innings contained a seven-and-a-half minute stoppage of play, two-thirds of which were devoted to advertising time.[6] After complaints by viewers and players (criticizing its use as an extended commercial break, and for breaking the flow of the game), these breaks were replaced in the following year by two compulsory "strategic timeouts" of two-and-a-half minutes per innings. One must be taken by the bowling team between the 6th to 10th overs, and the batting team between the 11th to 16th overs.[7][8]
  • Curling: at the conclusion of each end. The game generally resumes before the commercial break ends, so when the broadcast comes back on a few rocks will have already been thrown.[citation needed]
  • Ice hockey
    • NHL: Commercial time-outs are taken after 4-minute intervals at the 14:00, 10:00 and 6:00 marks in each period when both teams are at even strength. However, there are no commercial time-outs after a goal, after an icing, during a power-play, during the last 30 seconds of the first and second period or last two minutes of the third period. Also, there must be at least one minute of play between commercial time-outs and an effort must be done to identify the situations where a video review might happen in order to NOT go into a commercial time-out. [9] Additionally there are no timeouts, commercial or team, granted during a shootout. Due to these restrictions, it is possible that not all of the scheduled breaks are taken, in which case sometimes a network will take a timeout at the conclusion of the game to make up for it before signing off on the broadcast.[10] During overtime, television timeouts are taken only in the following situations:
      • In the preseason and the regular season, between the end of the overtime period and the beginning of the shootout. No television timeouts are taken during the overtime period.
      • In the postseason, at the first stoppage of play after the halfway point in the overtime period.
  • Motorsports: Most races are unable to accommodate television timeouts, but certain events, such as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, events are structured with a safety car after 20 minutes of green flag action to help inexperienced drivers acclimate themselves with pit stops (full green flag pit stops are discouraged in order to help younger drivers gain experience with live pit stops in a more controlled environment). In order to alleviate the lack of television timeout periods, technology such as Side-By-Side has been introduced. During the Sprint All-Star Race, commercials are only taken between periods after the pit stop, or during safety car situations.
  • Tennis: during the break after odd-numbered games when players change ends.[citation needed]
  • Volleyball and Beach volleyball: in volleyball games governed by FIVB, television timeouts are referred to as technical time-outs and occur during each non-tie-breaking set.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abt, Samuel. "ESPN Positions Itself to Take on Europe," The International Herald Tribune, Monday, January 25, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Voepel, Mechelle (May 9, 2013). "Panel recommends 10-second rule". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Shorter shot clock, fewer timeouts among changes coming in 2015-16". ESPN.com. June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ "NCAA panel approves women's basketball rules changes". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ NBA Scoring and Timing Rules Section VII part d
  6. ^ Booth, Lawrence (16 April 2009). "Indian Premier League introduces compulsory time-outs during matches". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "IPL 3 to start on March 12 in Hyderabad". The Times of India. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  8. ^ ""Strategic time out" to rake in money". Cricket Country. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "http://www.nhlofficials.com/es3745/cat127/rule-situation-of-the-week-series-need-a-break". www.nhlofficials.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28.  External link in |title= (help)
  10. ^ NHL to implement another rule change for icing, kuklaskorner.com, November 23, 2008 
  11. ^ "Official Volleyball Rules". FIVB.org. Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-20.  External link in |work= (help)