Is there any regulation on watermarks that Identify a TV station? It seems that lower right is common. What guidelines measurements are in place for these marks? In a related note, what about the realatively new show name bars on shows, and those ANNOYING pop-ups for another tv show. How do all of these fit together, what do they have in common? is it ““legal”” for a network to put their marks over another feed? (Which I know they do anyhow…)
Just for the record, the professional term for those little corner logos are called “bugs.”
As in they bug the hell out of me?
My WAG is the network “bugs” came into existence when less the scrupulous stations and (overseas) networks began stealing news stories and claiming them as their own. Local stations merely follow the networks.
I think the bugs have become necessary because of the proliferation of channels and the fact that channel assignments vary from cable system to cable system. In the old days when every community had, at most, three network affiliates, a PBS station, and an independent or two, there was little chance for confusion.
Now that we have a couple hundred channels, it’s a lot harder to memorize all of them, and if you’re away from home, you won’t find the ones you have memorized at the same numbers. So they give us a constant reminder (except during commercials).
In response to Duckster…Why don’t the networks that steal the content just but their own bug over the existing one? As for those popup one’s for other shows I believe it is/was FX that starting using one’s that were animated and made noise which was quite a bit more annoying. Also something that always confused me is…Why is it that shows that are more or less particular (at least for the time being) to a specific station put things in that corner. For example if I’m watching an interview on (insert just about any station here…VH1 Comedy Central…) and I want to know who there talking to but I can’t becuase there’s a ‘bug’ over the persons name. You think the editors or whoever does it would at least attempt to put pertinant info somewhere so that it doesn’t get covered up by the network logo.
That’s true, but most digital cable and satellite systems identify the name of the channel onscreen with the press of a button. Hell, my DirecTV system even shows their logos.
Wouldn’t this “bug” be an ideal way for devices to skip commercials? When the bug goes off, it’s commercial time, thus can be skipped, and when the bug comes back, bam - back to television. Do any devices support this?
Note that he didn’t say this was for the viewer’s convenience. As long as you’re enjoying what you’re watching, you probably couldn’t care less what channel it’s on, but the network is sure itching to remind you what channel you’re watching at every opportunity.
I also think it serves this same purpose if you tape a show, carefully pausing during commercials, and watch it years later and/or give it to a friend. The “bug” reminds the viewer where the show came from, so they can be sure to check back on that channel for more wonderful programming.
During the title “couch scene” of one episode of The Simpsons, Homer ripped the Fox “bug” off the screen, threw it to the floor, and stomped up and down on it.
Here in the UK they are a relatively new thing, mostly only seen on digital/satellite TV. (Although Channel 5 used to have one on all the time on terrestrial TV, but it doesn’t seem to these days.)
Apparently they are referred to as DOGs, for Digital Onscreen Graphics. There’s even a campaign to get rid of them.
Disclaimer: I haven’t done research on this and it is just from memory…
Very few stations used those up until the 80s. When the Gulf War broke out, there was coverage from all the networks and stations. Since some news feeds had more dramatic action, they were broadcast and credited or sometimes not credited. I think CNN was among the first to start putting it on the broadcast for all the news segments so that if a different network was using the footage, then they were assured of getting credit. I recall noticing the different networks starting to use the bugs as a measure to cover up the ‘advertisement’ for the source of the news feed. They progressed to actual watermarks over a period of time.
I was watching a movie the other night on a local station who had their watermark bug up for the duration of the film.
TBS and Spike (TNN) seem to be the greatest proponents for the animated bugs, and advertising upcoming shows during a broadcast.