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4.5 Recommended standards and procedures for selection for preservation of television programme material

FIAT Programming and Production Commission, FIAT/IFTA Handbook, September 1995 Draft

1.1 introduction

In an ideal world, all material created for television would be preserved to the highest possible technical standards and properly documented. In reality, of course, this is not a practical or even necessarily desirable prospect. Financial, operational and technical restrictions will influence the amount and nature of material retained. In these circumstances, selection of material for retention must be subject to a consistent policy to ensure that no material of potential value is discarded.

Selection policies will vary between different archives, according to their structures and objectives. These range from the archives and libraries within broadcasting organisations or independent production companies, to nationally financed bodies. The aims of selection will thus be preservation of material for both operational and cultural purposes.

1.2 scope of material

All types of programme material should be covered. Although the emphasis in some archives will be on transmitted programmes, it is essential that untransmitted material should be considered for preservation, especially in the areas of news and factual programmes. It is necessary to have adequate paperwork - it saves time indexing and finding sequences. It is important to preserve regular samples of complete days of programme output, as well as regular examples of presentational and commercial material (advertisements). If you do have untransmitted material you have to have it accurately documented. The application of selection policies will depend upon the type of library or archive applying them. For example, the retention of untransmitted material is particularly applicable to a news library, while the retention of a complete day's output will be more important to a national archive.

It is important to recognise the difference between copies of programmes, or parts of programmes, as they were completed for transmission and copies of programmes as they were actually seen by the audience, such as would be obtained by recording them off-air or off- transmission. These will have different values to different sorts of archives and different reuse potential, and the archive must work out which is the most relevant to its purposes in each case.

1.3 technical considerations

The technical aspects of preserving and storing television material, whatever format it is recorded on (film, videotape and future possibilities), are detailed and complex. The FIAT/ IFTA Technical Commission is responsible for detailed recommendations in this area, but certain key principles must be considered a part of the selection process.

Master film and tape copies should be acquired and preserved wherever possible. Traditionally, this has meant film originals and submasters (e.g. internegative) and transmission video-tapes (or camera originals for untransmitted material). The development of digital video tape and disc formats means that, theoretically, the concepts of "master" and "copy" are irrelevant and care must be taken to ensure that something is preserved.

For reuse purposes a broadcast archive will need to preserve different elements of the production. A clean feed of the transmission of a live broadcast is necessary. If this is not possible and only an off-air recording exists (ie. with captions etc) then the edited transmission items played into the live programme should also be retained. Separate copies of the sound elements such as music and effects tracks and international versions are also required.

A major principle of preservation is that master copies should be retained only for further copying and that duplicates on appropriate formats should be available for operational purposes, such as viewing or transmission. Discrete inserts within programmes (e.g. individual news stories) should be treated in the same way.

The need to transfer material due to the obsolescence of a format may also have implications for selection policy if a need to prioritise is identified.

1.4 selection procedure

In order to minimise the errors inherent in selection, a wide spectrum of views should be taken into account as part of the process. Within a television organisation, these views should include the programme making departments, the sales department and technical servicing departments. In the context of a national archive it may be necessary to take into account any statutory or legal requirements.

It is also appropriate in some circumstances to seek views outside the television organisation.

This could be regarded as essential where the material constitutes a national archive. In this case, interests represented should include television critics, educational users, cultural bodies and subject specialists. However it is important that consultation does not result in too slow and cumbersome a process.

These wide ranging views could be made available through the mechanism of an advisory committee. It might be more practical for the advisory committee to limit its debates to policy and leave the application of policy to specific programme material to the television archive staff, perhaps only considering individual programmes where difficulties, conflicting opinions and other problems arise.

Each archive should ensure that its policy is communicated to and understood and accepted by the whole organisation of which it is a part. It should be subject to regular revision, with any change carefully documented, and the responsibility for the application of selection policy must be clearly established. The timescale in which selection is made is also important. Some material can be identified as of long term archival importance even in advance of transmission and, at the opposite end of the scale, some material can be discarded very soon after transmission. A large proportion of output, however, falls between these two extremes.

Financial and operational considerations, such as the need to recycle videotape, may demand immediate decisions and it is necessary to ensure that material which needs further evaluation at a later date survives. In general, the greater the time allowed for consideration, the more effective the identification of material of long term value will be, both in terms of reuse potential and historic importance.

There are three important moments at which selections can be made or reconsidered: immediately after transmission; five years after transmission; and when the obsolescence of formats demands the duplication of material.

National archives will obviously take a longer term view and will not be concerned with the operational considerations of broadcasters. For this reason co-operation between broadcasters and national archives can result in the preservation of material which may otherwise be discarded.

For most broadcasting organisations, the identification and discarding of material purchased from outside the company is an important consideration and the nature of the rights held in certain material will have a bearing on whether or not it is kept. Where purchased material forms part of a new programme produced by the company, the new programme should be retained by the company, which should note in its documentation the rights held in that material. Where the company is planning to wipe or discard copies of complete programmes purchased from an external source or tapes containing material acquired from other companies, it should first consider whether it may in future wish to negotiate for further transmission rights for that material, and also whether, because of the age of the material, it may be destroying something which no longer exists in its country of origin. Not having the rights to something is not an automatic reason to destroy it.

To permit policy to be formulated, developed and systematically applied, it is necessary to establish a set of selection criteria.

1.5 selection criteria

A list of selection criteria may be as follows:

A. Actuality material of historic interest in all fields.
B. Actuality material as a record of a place, an object or a natural phenomenon.
C. Interview material of historic importance.
D. Interview material indicative of opinions or attitudes of the time.
E. Fictional and entertainment material of artistic interest.
F. Fictional and entertainment material illustrative of social history.
G. Any material, including commercial and presentational, illustrative of the development of televisual practices and techniques.

(NOTE: "Actuality" means a moving image recording in which that recorded has not been specifically arranged to be recorded)

In most, if not all cases, transmitted material should always be kept. However, the above criteria should also be applied to untransmitted material, though more importantly for categories A, B, C and D. More than one category may apply to any one item, though some categories may be of more importance than others. In all cases the reasons for selection and their relative importance should be recorded. If applied in the greatest possible detail, these categories could be assigned to individual sequences or shots as well as to complete programmes or blocks of untransmitted material.

Selection criteria for untransmitted material should take account of the historic value of the material (the importance of an individual interviewed or a situation recorded); the uniqueness of certain irreplaceable images (such as a city before a catastrophe or ethnologically important material); the uniqueness of material omitted from transmission for reasons of censorship or taste; the exceptional quality of certain images; and reuse potential, either as stock-shots or for possible re-editing of the programme.

2. selection recommendations by genre

2.1 news, news analysis amd comment, current analysis

2.1.1 Characteristics

News, news analysis and comment and current affairs can deal with any kind of subject. The aim is only to enhance the public's understanding, not to influence the public opinion or to change attitudes. Esthetic, artistic or educational purposes, sentiment or personal views of the programme maker are absent. This differentiates this from other programme genres dealing with similar subjects such as eg. talk shows (entertainment), educational programmes and documentaries.

2.1.2 Typology

The genre can take on the format of a news broadcast, a current affairs magazine or a one topic-programme of considerable length. Often interviews, panel discussions, and statements are added. When comment is added, its origin is carefully stated. The will to be accurate and unbiased is omnipresent: any mise-en-scene or lack of objectivity would cause the programme to lose its status.

2.1.3 Selection

Five types of material should be distinguished:

1. Transmission tapes of the programme as broadcast;
2. Edited items;
3. Raw material, often in the shape of camera originals (rushes) untransmitted;
4. EVN -raw material
5. Viewing copies

Transmission tapes

These tapes should always be archived as a record of the actual broadcast.

Edited items

Edited items should all be archived completely, thoroughly and extensively with the highest priority. The information should be retrievable within two or three days.

Raw material

This kind of material is often very valuable and very suitable for reuse. Camera crews and journalists on a larger mission, especially in more or less unusual places and countries, often shoot extra images. Since the company itself normally owns all the rights, this material can easily be sold to users outside the company, which is an extra advantage.

The problem with this kind of material is that it usually arrives in the archive several weeks, sometimes months after the edited items were transmitted. Moreover the scope of the material often surpasses the edited items. This means that it should be archived as a separate entity, independently from the edited items. A good shotlist, provided by the journalist or another person from the team is absolutely essential. This material does not have top priority, but one should attempt to have the information available in the database within 14 days. It should be archived just as extensively as an edited item.

The raw material accompanying all daily routine news items should be treated differently. The news department and the archive together should decide whether or not the raw material related to the edited news item should be kept. This decision should be made instantly, enabling the archivist to link the raw material with the data (keywords) of the edited item with a minimum of extra information added and with the same priority. Any proposal by the news department. not to archive, can be overruled by the archive.

EVN - untransmitted material

One can assume that the company of origin will thoroughly archive and document the items it has made available to the Eurovision (EVN). Nevertheless easy access to this material can be of great value for news departments, especially those short of material shot abroad by their own camera teams. In these cases it is useful to archive the EVN items or a selection of them as thoroughly as edited news items. Hopefully EVN soon comes up with a plan for a centralised EVN-database.

Viewing copies of the transmission

The format of viewing copies and their use within the archive depends on specific company policy.

VHS-copies should be kept as a record of the actual transmission for as long as company policy or national law or regulations impose.

2.2 documentaries

2.2.1 Characteristics

A documentary is a non fiction audio-visual creation

A documentary is a high quality level of audio and visual representation of reality.

- The making of a documentary requires the writing of a script or similar pre-planned schedule.

- A documentary is not studio based, nor a live transmission.

- When there are interviews, in a documentary they are usually edited and may be used throughout the programme.

- A documentary gives a longer and more in-depth view of the subject as compared to magazine and current affairs programmes.

- A documentary usually presents the personal perspective of an author on reality or facts; if compared to a written work; a documentary would be classified as an essay.

2.2.2 Typology

- A documentary may cover any aspect of reality; science, history, natural history, art, industry, society etc.

- It can take several forms: story, profile, impressionistic work, monograph on a country or a town, reporting etc.

- Amongst the various forms of realisation it is worth mentioning:

- "secularised" documentaries, referred to as "drama documentaries", which may include some acting;

- documentaries based on archive material.

2.2.3 Selection

All transmitted documentaries must be kept because:

- They are creative works.

- Works can be repeated (in their entirety). Extracts can also be used. However, secondary usage of documentaries based on archive footage is more delicate if bought-in inserts have been included.

- They are works that bear witness to the environment we live in, the evolution of society, the behaviour of mankind at a specific time in our history.

- The non transmitted material may also be kept, providing it can be documented.

2.3 topical magazines and discussions

2.3.1 Characteristics Topical magazines and discussions are programmes which react to the details and issues of contemporary life in all areas. They are usually studio based, frequently live and often feature the general public as well as personalities. They are often used to convey information about activities. They are always up-to-date and are usually presented in long-running or continuous series, with regular presenters. They are television's equivalent of the general interest and leisure magazines found on news stands.

2.3.2 Typology

Topical magazines and discussions include the following:

- Studio based programmes featuring interviews and edited reports on a variety of subjects of general interest.

- Magazine programmes devoted to areas of specific leisure interest, such as travel or motoring.

- Arts and entertainment magazine and review programmes.

- Daytime magazine programming.

- Discussion programmes featuring members of the general public.

- Discussion programmes on specific subjects featuring invited experts.

2.3.3 Selection

These are often regarded as ephemeral programmes and can be used to fill large amounts of air time as cheaply as possible. The material created is rarely re-used, unless it features the participation of individuals of particular interest, but it can be amongst the most indicative of contemporary issues and attitudes, and therefore of long-term sociological interest. It is almost impossible to predict which material will be of re-use value and long-term interest and therefore the most sensible policy will be to retain it all. Arts magazine and review programmes must always be kept as a record of the history and development of the arts. If selection has to be made, priority should be given to programmes covering subjects which have had a particularly significant effect on society and to ensuring that a wide a range of topics is also covered, while ensuring that all contributions by individuals of historic significance are retained, including pre-recorded sections in documentary style. Retrospective selection will be easier. From a distance of five years it will be more obvious which topics were indicative of their time or which re-appear so often that they either form a complete collection of interest or can be treated more selectively thereafter. Selectivity will be easier in the case of leisure magazine programmes, where a selection of examples may well prove to be satisfactory. Unused footage is rare in this area of programming, much of which is transmitted live, and is unlikely to be of great interest other than as stock footage taken from leisure magazine programmes. Complete versions of significant edited interviews should be considered for retention.

2.3.4 Categories

The main categories to be used will be C and D, depending on the significance of the participants in any discussions. Arts and leisure magazines may also involve categories A, B and E and any innovative format will also need to be assigned to category G.

2.4 events

2.4.1 Characteristics

Events can be simple transmissions or more elaborate programmes, including a mixture of live recordings and pre-recorded inserts.

2.4.2 Typology

Events include special programmes covering important events: political events such as elections day or special parliament sessions, transmissions of ceremonies such as state funerals or weddings, award ceremonies or special events produced by the television itself such as charity shows or "telethons".

2.4.3 Selection and categories

This type of programmes is of historic interest i.e. category A and illustrative of the development of TV-history - category G. So they are to be retained, without selection, recorded as they are broadcast, both in national archives for historical interest of the events covered and as important items in the Tv-history. And in TV-stations archives as historical interest footage to be reused in future programming.

The edited and raw material produced for these programmes is also worth to be preserved in TV- archives, with the same criteria and standards as news edited or raw material.

2.5 drama and performances

2.5.1 Characteristics

- Drama and Performances are fiction created for television or for broadcast by television.

- "Drama" includes: single plays, series, serials, soaps

- "Performances" includes: theatre, opera, ballet, music, entertainment

- A high quality level of audio and visual production

- The personal touch of an artist (author, director, actor, composer, musician, dancer, choreographer etc.)

- Programming of Drama and Performances are transmitted one-off or as part of a series.

2.5.2 Typology

- Dramatic works created for television. Live performances adapted for broadcasting or transmitted by television.

- Drama and Performances are reflections of social issues and they are the most revealing commentaries on our times.

2.5.3 Selection

All transmitted programmes must be kept because:

- They are creative works

- Works can be are easy to repeat in their entirety. Extracts can also be used.

- They are works representing the society we live in; illustrative of the evolution of society, its behaviour and behavioural patterns at a specific time of our history.

- The non transmitted material (raw material) is rare in these categories and unlikely to be of any interest. Exceptions may be shots of rehearsals.

2.6 entertainment programmes

2.6.1 Characteristics

Programmes in this category are those designed to entertain and amuse. They will include comic and musical performances.

These are works using the talents of performance artists. They may be a direct broadcast or recording of an entertainment event eg.. Circus, Cabaret at a club. Otherwise they are usually studio shows which may include inserts on film (in the past) or more usually video. They will have been recorded in their entirety on videotape. These programmes can be live transmissions and in the past they may not have been recorded, or recorded on film (telerecording).

This type of programming is a significant representation of contemporary popular culture. It should be valued as such and not regarded as ephemera.

There may well be reuse of extracts as well as complete programme reuse. With the proliferation of broadcasting outlets - home-video, video on demand, cable, satellit, more and more channels as a result of digital compression - the potential commercial exploitation of this type of entertainment programming grows considerably. This may well dictate that much more material is kept so that increasing number of outlets and hours of transmission can be filled.

2.6.2 Typology

Talk/Chat Shows, Variety Shows, Comedy - Stand-up, One-man Shows, Situation Comedy, Popular Music Shows or Concerts. Quizzes and Game Shows have been treated as a separate category. This category includes Drama Comedy which can be made on film as a complete play as well as on video.

2.6.3 Selection

National Archives will need to reflect these types of popular culture, furthermore broadcasting organisations need to retain this material for repeat, sale and use as stock shots. Any Archive having to make selection for economic reason must at least cover the following:

- Examples of all types of format and presentation - archived by random selection of at least the first, last and middle episodes/programmes in a series.

- Examples of any developments in format or presentation within a series.

- Any programmes that illustrate new technology or production "gadgets".

- Examples to show plot development - particularly for situation comedy.

- Examples of situation comedy which portrays issues of social or broadcasting significance or make reference to current events.

- Programmes which are award nominations/winners or particularly badly reviewed by critics.

- Guests of contemporary fame or significance making appearances in Comedy, Chat, Quiz, Variety, Music Shows should always be selected.

- Guests talking at length about their career or significant events.

- If the performance is at an unusual or notable location.

- If the programme itself is a significant event eg. U.K. Royal Variety Performance or Eurovision Song Contest. Visual performances of all top 20 singles from Pop shows should be retained.

2.6.4 Categories

This type of programming would usually be retained under categories D, E, F, G.

2.7 game shows and quizzes

2.7.1 Characteristics

Programmes within the category Game Shows and Quizzes may be considered ephemeral due to the reuse potential and they can often be classified as light entertainment. They will seldom be re-transmitted as a whole or in parts.

The reason to retain them for preservation - part from the reuse aspect - are the same as for any other of television programming - for historical reasons. These programmes are also, as all television programming, part of the public record, part of the national heritage and reflects the society of which it is a part.

Characteristic for this category of programming is the repetitive form, mostly of a rigid format. The content remains roughly the same within long series. Even between countries the concepts of quizzes and game shows are often the same, because the outlines of such programming are sold between companies.

2.7.2 Typology

Game Shows, Quizzes - often in connection to a special topic and lottery presentations and other sorts of gambling. For gambling in relation to sports, see section "SPORTS".

2.7.3 Selection

A single programme may be of less interest to retain. But for the same reasons the same element could be of great interest for comparative studies of application of a concept and make it worthwhile preserving.

Another reason to retain this kind of material for potential reuse is the impossibility to predict the future prominence of persons involved.

It is impossible to retain all the programming in this category so a selection has to be made. From the national archive point of view, a selection should be made that include:

- Varied and representative examples of such programming, though within a series sample episodes could be selected at random.

- Examples of any developments in format or presentation within a series.

- Any programmes that illustrate new technology or gadgets.

- Reflect changes in this kind of programming from time to time

- Personalities of contemporary importance and significance

Even if it is impossible to assess the potential reuse value of such material for the broadcaster, the above listed selection criteria could also be valid for a broadcaster's internal documentation, especially on the part of participating persons.

Since most of the programming in this area is recorded as live in a studio, untransmitted footage is unlikely to occur or be of any interest and therefore be retained.

2.7.4 Categories

This type of programming would usually be retained under categories D, F, G.

2.8 children's programmes

2.8.1 Characteristics

CHILDREN'S programmes may cover all types of programmes eg.. news, sports, entertainment etc. and all formats eg.. drama, cartoon.

2.8.2 Typology

These are programmes aimed at an audience of children. They will entertain and inform as do adult programmes.

2.8.3 Selection

We recommend to preserve all CHILDREN'S programmes produced by, or for the company and that has been transmitted.

2.8.4 Categories

These programmes should be retained under categories A to G differing from programme to programme.

2.9 presentation and commercials

2.9. Characteristics

Presentation and commercials are the bits which come between the programmes in a television station1s output, though not all channels transmit commercials. These items are very brief and are often repeated very many times. Presentation is always produced by the broadcasting company, even those which otherwise only transmit acquired material. Commercials are always produced outside the broadcasting company and transmitted in return for payment.

2.9.1 Typology The material under consideration includes station identifications and logos, clocks and test-cards, breakdown and other announcement material, trailers for forthcoming programmes and newsflashes. It can also include weather forecasts and news reports. Commercials are a separate issue but will also be considered here. Also to be considered is the idea of making and preserving broadcast quality recordings of complete days1 output or any block of recordings longer than one programme which show how a channel1s output was presented on screen.

2.9.2 Selection

Traditionally, a television company1s presentational material has suffered the most archivally. Being largely created "live" and involving the most ephemeral material it has been the last thing usually considered for preservation - if at all - and yet it contains the very essence of a broadcaster1s or a channel1s identity and represents emblems of social history. The very beginnings of many television stations often have not been preserved.

The best, but not the only way of ensuring the preservation of the sort of material in question is specifically to record it as it is transmitted. In the case of complete days or blocks of programming it is the only way. This may be easier for a national archive, which has time to consider and implement such a policy, rather than for a busy broadcasting company, which may find other priorities pressing upon it. However, if the archive has its own broadcast standard recording equipment, it can ensure that the recordings are made. Archivists need to be pro-active on this issue.

Another reason why this function may be more important to a national archive is that the material preserved is more likely to be wanted for study than for re-transmission. The national archive would need the legal right to record transmissions for preservation purposes, though, and, in countries which have no national archival provision for television, the companies must fulfil the cultural preservation function themselves.

Each television company will need to preserve examples of its own station identities and presentation style. As these are not themselves programmes it can be difficult to catalogue and identify them and, in the past, they have often survived by being attached to off-transmission recordings of particular programmes. However, in order to ensure their adequate preservation they should be properly labelled and easy to find. This can be achieved by making the complete day or block recordings mentioned above, which will be sure to include examples of the presentation. Ideally, such recordings should be made at least once a month in order to capture all the changes in style and sufficiently varied examples. If a national archive is making off- transmission recordings, this may not need to be done so frequently by the broadcasting companies.

Trailers for forthcoming programmes will be pre-recorded and can be considered for preservation in the same way as programmes, though the supply of information may be a problem. Normally, examples of presentation trailers captured by making block recordings will be enough, but the trailers for some particularly important programmes or events will need to be separately preserved. The importance of the programme in question will be a guide to the importance of the trailer. Ideally, innovations in the style of trailers should also be noted and preserved.

Commercials have, in recent years, come to be regarded as having the same sort of cultural and social significance as the programmes themselves. They can be more expensive to make and employ leading film and television directors and stars. They have their own literature, critical responses and awards and should thus, ideally, be treated archivally in the same way as programmes.

One problem is that the commercial television companies which screen them have no right or responsibility to retain copies of them. The producers are the advertising agencies, who generally have little archival awareness. In these circumstances the best bodies to preserve commercials would be central bodies set up and funded by advertising companies, national bodies set up to regulate commercial television, national archives or specialist archives with legal deposit responsibilities. If national archives are keeping complete days and blocks of programming from commercial channels, they will inevitably include much advertising material and, most importantly, it will be in the context in which it was originally seen.

As for selection of individual commercials, though, it would be safe to say that all commercials made for national campaigns should be kept and examples of local advertising chosen to reflect the range of products and services being advertised. All government and political advertising should be kept, on both a national and local level.

2.9.4 Categories

In terms of the selection criteria, most of the material considered above will come under category G. If it is innovative in style, which trailers and commercials in particular can often be, then category E may apply. Commercials can also be of enormous interest in terms of social history, though this may only be perceived in retrospect, in which case category F will also apply.

2.10 educational programmes

2.10.1 Characteristics

Educational programmes present knowledge and information in all areas of human experience, eg.. natural sciences, ethnology, religion, art and culture, sports and media. In this case, educational programmes will overlap as regards content with other programmes that originally reflect one or more of the above mentioned genres for entertainment, formation of opinion and information. Unlike these programme targets, the main emphasis for educational programmes is put forward a didactic presentation of the chosen theme to impart knowledge. The content becomes virtually a syllabus.

By developing new techniques in the media sector educational programmes will experience a revolutionary development. Using multimedia elements educational programmes will become hypermedia programmes, which will enable the viewer in an interactive process to determine individually the knowledge to be imparted its intensity and the amount of detail. This new programme form will have to be taken into consideration also for the documentation and storage. Therefore, an intensive and continuous examination/analysis of these themes has to be done in future regarding the selection recommendations.

2.10.2 Typology

Educational Programmes are mainly produced in the form of

- documentaries
- features
- presented magazines
- production with dramatisation to illustrate the themes
- computer-animated programme parts.

Through the different programme forms for the presentation of the educational programmes as well as the contents, the whole spectrum of human knowledge is covered. Educational Programming is a cross-section of all target groups and thematic contents.

2.10.3 Selection

Basically all transmitted productions should be retained and documented. Materials, which were not used for transmission, will only be stored, if

- the producer applied for (further production plans are expected)
- either the editorial staff informs the archive or the documentalist decides basing on his experience that the material is unique and irretrievable.

The archive has always the sovereignty over the selection of material. This means that the archive decides, if the material is for limited or unlimited storage. The archive can also override the decisions of editorial staff to destroy.

The storage of untransmitted material is only useful, if there is documentation and with it the access to the reuse of single takes.

Because it is possible to transmit educational programmes in different programme slots and secondly to up-date and to use these programmes without effort whenever needed, it would also be profitable to retain as much as untransmitted material as possible.

Unfortunately, in reality the facts are different. Archival material has not only to be evaluated and to be stored in the format common at the time when the programme is produced, all not-used materials rather have to be transferred onto the changing format standards - and this is an important cost factor.

2.11 sports

2.11.1 Characteristics

Sports programming invariably constitutes a substantial portion of most societies' television programming. Sports programming represents the most international genre of television programming with coverage of international events and championships shared by many countries. At the same time, national sports programming also varies significantly from country to country and often represents the most indigenous and original culture of a society. Sports is often the most popular programming carried by a broadcaster and documents a society's best-known heroes and heroines, and their exploits. Sports programming has often stimulated technological developments for television generally and warrants extensive archival preservation.

2.11.2 Typology

Sports programming includes instantaneous coverage of sporting events as they occur, sports news inserts, sports interview and magazine programs, and sports awards ceremonies. Sports programming can also be categorized as international sporting events such as Olympic Games and world championships, national leagues and events, and local sporting events seen only in parts of a country.

2.11.3 Selection

The quantity and repetitive nature of sports programming requires selection. All sports programming does not warrant archival retention. However, much sports programming will have ongoing re-broadcast and potential historical value and does need to be retained. For selection purposes sports programming can be subdivided into the categories of: international events, national events, local events, sports news inserts, and sports ceremonies and documentary/magazine programming.

International events:

International sporting events, both the event as transmitted and untransmitted footage, should be retained by the country and the broadcaster originating the event. International sporting events originating elsewhere should be retained as broadcast if national teams or national figures are represented, if the national broadcaster provides commentary or context, or if the national broadcaster originates footage from the international sporting event. A wide selection of interviews with national sporting figures should be retained as recorded.

National events:

National championships, including play-offs or elimination series, should be retained as transmitted. For ongoing coverage of a full season of a particular sport a minimum of one home game per season for each team should be retained. Television coverage of unique or single events should be retained as broadcast. A wide selection of interviews with national sporting figures should be retained as recorded.

Local events:

Local championships or unique events should be retained as transmitted. For ongoing coverage of a local sport a minimum of one home game per season for each sport should be retained. A selection of interviews with local sporting figures should be retained as recorded so that representative documentation exists for all local sporting figures covered by television programming.

Sports news inserts:

Edited sports news packages should be retained as transmitted for international, national and local programming. Often such sports news could, and should be retained, as part of the news programming generally.

Sports ceremonies:

Sports ceremonies such as opening and closing events for Olympic games and national championships, awards banquets, player drafts or selections, etc. should be retained as transmitted. A wide selection of interviews with national sporting figures should be retained as recorded.

Sports documentaries and magazines:

Sports documentaries and topical magazine programming related to sports should be retained on the same basis as this genre of programming, generally.


It is important to ensure the preservation of related documentation and stills connected with programmes and programme material being preserved. Where these are the responsibility of different parts of the organisation, there must be liaison to ensure it happens. Selection should also take account of specific forms of programming which may be found in several of the genres identified. For instance animation, which may be used for drama, children's programming, advertising and so on, should be selected to ensure that all kinds of animation and the work of individual animators is preserved.

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