For a spot to air on time, stations need to have the creative materials and traffic instructions in-house by a specific deadline. The deadlines vary among media (radio, broadcast television, satellite television, and cable television). While each station can have its own unique set of deadlines, deadlines typically follow the structure demonstrated in the list below:
Radio: 1 business day before the start date @ 5pm
Broadcast TV: 1 business day before the start date @ 5pm
Cable TV: 1 business day before the start date @ 12pm
Satellite TV: 3 to 5 business days before the start date at 12pm
The deadlines for all media are accelerated during a holiday week. For example, if you would like a spot to air on Labor Day (Monday), the creative materials and traffic instructions may be due to the stations on Thursday by 5pm for radio and broadcast, Thursday by 12pm for cable, and the preceding Monday at 12pm for satellite . The holiday deadlines can be tricky as they vary among media markets and media. To prepare for holiday deadlines, we contact all of the stations with which we have buys scheduled about a week in advance and ask what the holiday deadlines are. We then communicate the deadlines to our clients so that they are prepared to have their spots ready to go on time. As long as the stations receive all of the necessary ad materials by the specified deadline, the spot will air as scheduled without any issues.