I see this from time to time during commercial breaks: all of a sudden, a commercial will play for a split second, no more than 2 or 3 seconds but then get cut off. Why does this happen? Is this a time restraint issue?
There are many possible reasons for this.
Assuming automated control:
- A sequence of commercials has been cued up to play from a video server, and then one was removed from the schedule after the video server had started playing it (to allow frame-accurate play-out, the command to start a commercial is sent a little before it is needed to account for server latency)
- A local/regional commercial is meant to play, but the synchronization signal is mis-matched or mistimed for the equipment the commercial is being played from so it starts a little late, after the network commercial has started airing
- A video server glitch in the server playing out commercials
- A video server failure causing a new server or commercial to be played if, say, no sound is detected for the commercial which is replaced
Or, for manually controlled payout:
- For a live sports (or other) event, the producer has decided to return to the main event just after the commercial was started
- A regional / local commercial is started manually as soon as the operator recognizes a network commercial to be substituted
There are probably dozens of other possible reasons as well - these are just off the top of my head five years after leaving the industry.