Delaying a Broadcast Live
event by at least a few seconds so that any inappropriate material can be removed or bleeped out.
The same practice is used by all live radio stations in the UK.
- Most episodes of WWE Monday Night Raw run this way. It's most obvious in the last episode to air on Spike TV, in which the audio suddenly drops any time the words "USA Network" are mentioned, and a "Technical Difficulties" screen comes up any time a sign mentioning USA is seen in the crowd. As the commentators catch on to what is going on, they start having a lot of fun with trying to beat the censor, giving us a lot of surreal commentary.
- One obvious example of this delay in action was Vince McMahon's 2001 live speech announcing his plans for the purchase of WCW - since TNT didn't have a similar delay for the Nitro episode, the feed shown on RAW happened to be lagging several seconds behind the Nitro feed of the same speech.
- Subverted by Bret Hart's infamous "Frustrated isn't the Goddamn word for it! THIS IS BULLSHIT!" speech in 1997. Vince McMahon told Hart that the delay would be active and supervised so he could get as colorful as he wanted, but he was lying and it went out as is. Muted words were noticeable over the next several months, though the censorship was inconsistent: Shawn Michaels saying "'Tough titty' said the kitty" went out as is while Hart quoting Michaels was censored a week or two later.
- One time when it was averted for a live radio broadcast (Front Row on Radio 4) a guest used the word "cunt" live on air. The memo to introduce a time delay probably landed in the producer's inbox before the show had finished broadcast.
- Similarly, Slash of Guns N' Roses turned up for a music award very drunk, and slurred out some curses before mumbling "oops", which led directly to the introduction of a time delay.
- After the incident in which radio host Don Imus described the Rutgers' women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos", part of his probation once he got back on the air was a 10-second delay.
- Stand-up comic Jasper Carrott talks about how he remembers when his local radio station had to introduce a four second delay in transmission, listeners would call the sports pundit on the phone-in show a argue with him. An engineer at the station has four seconds to interject with the station jingle... "Hello, Tone? I think you should stick that microphone right up your-BRMB Radio!" Everyone listening is hoping one day the engineer will miss his cue.
- A fixture in just about every radio talk show known to man. The broadcast is typically 2-3 seconds behind the actual conversation, and almost every host is equipped with a crash button on his console. Whenever something happens or is said that is inappropriate for public broadcast, someone will hit the button, erasing the last several seconds of the broadcast currently in the queue. This usually leads to somebody talking to a call-in listener, when the audio abruptly changes; usually to the host either berating the listener for using inappropriate language, or simply dumping the call.
- One local radio morning show will often let potty mouthed guests or callers know they are running low on delay. If they run out they will usually hang up on them.
- Coast to Coast AM cuts to a recording of an announcer giving out the call-in number. It can be quite jarring when a conversation is suddenly interrupted by " East of the Rockies, call..."
- There's a large red button labeled DUMP on the broadcasting software at KFAN sports radio. There's an 8 second delay between the interview in the studio and what's being broadcasted.
- A rather unusual example: analogue BBC radio stations broadcast "the pips" immediately before hourly news broadcasts - with the final long pip being broadcast on the dot of the hour. However, they are omitted from digital radio due to a time delay of a few seconds introduced by the encoding/decoding of the audio (i.e. technical limitations rather than editorial policy).
- Any online video game competition, with money on the line, that is streamed live will have some sort of delay in order to prevent the players from using the stream to gain an unfair advantage.
- The mere nuances of digital video encoding will always cause delays like this to occur — an update to the video systems of popular game streaming site Twitch caused delays of up to 60 seconds.