Overlay Rules

Overlay Rules

The Overlay Rules feature allows you to fully automate graphic overlays for channel branding, program announcements, info tickers, sponsorship, and more. Overlay Rules take automation to the next level saving time vs. scheduling graphics individually or specifically. Overlay Rules allow selecting one or more overlay to trigger per rule, and support various trigger conditions, display frequency and duration, as well as conditions for channel, program, and time specific graphics. Overlay Rules make it easy to setup Channel Logos, Now Playing and Next Up Squeezebacks, Sponsorship announcements at the beginning, end, and throughout programming, Live vs. Pre-recorded graphics, News Tickers during specific or default programming and much more. Overlay Rules support priority levels that define which elements will show when multiple rules and scheduled graphics trigger at the same time.

Managing Overlay Rules

Admins can manage Overlay Rules by clicking Config → Overlays → Rules, or by clicking the Rules link on the Overlays page left sidebar.

The Overlay Rules table shows the existing rules, with summary information. From this table, you can access several Overlay Rules actions:

  • To create a new rule, click the addaction.
  • To edit an existing rule, click the edit actionor click of the name of the rule.
  • To copy an existing rule, click the copyaction. Copied rules will be set to inactive, and need to be edited to activate.
  • To delete a rule, click the deleteaction.

When editing and adding rules, you will be presented with the Overlay Rules form. The Overlay Rules form contains multiple sections. Following is an explanation of the available fields for each section.

The General section includes the core metadata fields and various configuration options as follows:

  • Name: Enter a name for the overlay rule.
  • Description: Enter a description for the overlay rule.
  • Overlays: Select one or more overlays to display on screen when the rule is triggered. All selected overlays will show at the same time.
  • Priority: Set the priority for this overlay rule. Normal priorities range from 1 to 100 where 1 is the highest priority. While overlays from a rule with a higher priority are active, overlays from a rule with a lower priority will be suppressed and will not display. Overlapping overlays from rules with the same priority will all display. Scheduled and manually triggered overlays run at an even higher, special priority level of 0, so will normally suppress overlapping overlays from any rule. Overlay rule priority can be set to 0 to match scheduled and manually triggered overlays if you do not want overlays from the rule to be suppressed by scheduled and manually triggered overlays. Note it is up to you to make sure that between scheduled, manually triggered, and rules, multiple overlays do not conflict visually and that you do not have overlapping squeezebacks.
  • Active?: Activate this overlay rule. Only active overlay rules will respond to triggers and display corresponding overlays.


The Trigger section defines when the rule is triggered and supports the following fields:

  • Type: Defines when overlays for the rule are triggered. All trigger types support specifying additional rule conditions such as months, days, date ranges, day parts, channels, and specific series and categories for further control.
    • Time: Overlays will trigger based on the minute and/or hour of the time of day. For example, every minute, every hour, or “on the 5s”.
    • Program: Overlays will trigger based on specified start/end conditions of scheduled programming. For example, “10 seconds after a program starts”, or “30 seconds before a program ends”. Handy for Now Playing, Next Up announcements, tying overlays to specific programming and more.
    • Continuity: Overlays will trigger whenever a channel enters continuity. When the channel leaves continuity, the trigger will end. Handy for example to display a squeezeback news ticker during continuity.

The Timing section allows defining the frequency and duration overlays display once a rule is triggered and supports the following fields:

  • Frequency Type: The frequency type determines how often the overlays will be displayed once the rule triggers. Using a frequency type of “One Time” means overlays for the rule will only be displayed once when the trigger fires. “Interval” means the overlays will be displayed repeatedly based on the “Minutes” and “Hours” specified. For example if you want something to display every 5 minutes on the minute once the trigger condition is met. Not all Frequency Types are available for all Trigger Types.
  • Duration Type: The duration type determines how long overlays display for the rule. “Until Trigger End” means overlays display for the entire trigger window. “Fixed” allows you to enter a specific overlay duration. Not all Duration Types are available for all Trigger / Frequency Type combos.
  • Minutes: For Interval Type, when minutes is set to “Every” overlays will display at an interval of “every nth minute on the minute” For example if minutes is set to “Every 5” the overlay will display on the 0th, 5th, 10th, 15th minute every hour (if hour is set to “Every 1”). When minutes is set to “At” the overlay will display “at the nth minute on the minute”. For example if minutes is set to “At 00:30” the overlay will only be sent to air once every hour at the 30th minute (if hour is set to “Every 1”. Minutes and Hours Types work in conjunction. To trigger every minute on the minute for example, select “Every 1” for Minutes, and “Every 1” for Hours.
  • Hours: For Interval Type, when hours is set to “Every” the overlay will be set to air with an interval of “every nth hour on hour.” For example if hour is set to “Every 5” the overlay will display on the 0th, 5th, 10th, 15th hour of every day. When hour is set to “At” overlays will display “at the nth hour on the hour”. For example if hours is set to “At 12:00” the overlay will display once every day at the 12th hour. Minutes and Hours Types work in conjunction. To trigger on the hour for example, select “At 00:00” for Minutes, and “Every 1” for Hours.

One or more Conditions can be added to a rule. Conditions can be used in two ways: “Only Play When” the condition is met or “Never Play When” the condition is met. Multiple conditions can be chained, even of the same type. Conditions are evaluated right before the overlay is sent to air. Available conditions include months, days, date ranges, day parts, channels, continuity, live, duration, and specific series and categories. The condition types supported are as follows:

  • Continuity: This condition is true when a given channel is in continuity. This condition cannot be used with continuity triggers. For example, you may have a rule to show a logo every 5 minutes, but you don’t want to show the logo when in continuity. You would add a Condition to Never Play When in Continuity.
  • Channel: Specify on which channels an overlay rule will display. For example, can be used to create Channel Logo rules with different branding for each channel.
  • Date Range: Specify the date range for which a rule will display. For example, you may have a special announcement you only want to run over a specific date range and then automatically stop.
  • Day Part: Specify the time of day range for which a rule will display. For example, you may want to show a different logo or ticker during morning hours, vs. primetime.
  • Days Of The Week: Specify the days of the week for which a rule will display. For example, you may want to show an announcement only on Monday, or weekdays.
  • Duration: Specify the minimum and maximum duration of the program for which the rule will display. Can only be used with a ‘Program’ trigger.
  • Live: This condition is true when a given program or continuity source is live. For example, you may want to show a graphic during a series, but only when the series is live. You could also specify a condition of ‘Never’ during Live to only show the graphic during replays.
  • Months Of The Year: Specify the months of the year for which a rule will display. For example, you may want to show an announcement only in winter months.
  • Program: Specify the program Series and/or Categories for which a rule will display. This can be used to apply specifically branded overlays to specific programming, or limit certain overlays to specific programming.

Click Save to save your changes.

Overlay Rules in As Run Reporting

Overlay Rules do not create visible overlay events so do not show on the scheduling views. Overlay events from Overlay Rules do create As Run records for reporting and affidavits. Because Overlay Rules can potentially create so many As Run entries, overlays from rules are hidden by default on As Run reports via the “No Overlay Rules” filter. You can change this behavior by selecting “All Over Rules” from the pulldown, or specific rules to just filter those, and clicking Search,

Example Overlay Rules

Show a squeezeback news ticker overlay called News Ticker whenever Continuity is running. For different news tickers on different channels, you can use Conditions and define a similar rule per channel:

Show a specific logo on a specific Channel every minute on the minute for 30 seconds, but don’t show the logo during Continuity:

Show a LIVE snipe graphic every minute on the minute for 30 seconds, starting 30 seconds after any live event starts and ending 30 seconds before the live event ends:

Show a “Pre-recorded On” snipe graphic every minute on the minute for 30 seconds, starting 30 seconds after any episode in the Town Meeting series starts and ending 30 seconds before the event ends. The snipe can be branded and designed specifically for the Town Meeting series, and can use snipe variables to dynamically fill in the episode ingest date:

Show a Now Playing snipe starting 5 seconds into any sports programming in the Sports category for 30 seconds. Snipe current program variables can be used to automatically fill in metadata from the now playing program:

Show a Next Up teaser snipe every minute on the minute for 30 seconds starting 10 minutes before the end of a program and ending 5 seconds before the end of the program Snipe next program variables can be used to automatically fill in metadata from the next scheduled program:

in GraphicsHC User Manual Tags: graphicsoverlay rulesoverlays

Related Articles