ANSI/SCTE 35 2023r1

Digital Program Insertion Cueing Message

Executive Summary

This standard, “Digital Program Insertion Cueing Message for Cable” (SCTE 35), is the core signaling standard for advertising, Program and distribution control (e.g., blackouts) of content for content providers and content distributors. SCTE 35 is being applied to QAM/IP, Title VI/TVE (TV Everywhere), and live/time shifted (DVR, VOD, etc.) delivery. SCTE 35 signals can be used to identify advertising Breaks, advertising content, and programming content (e.g., specific Programs and Chapters within a Program).

SCTE 35 complements other Standards to complete the eco-systems. [SCTE 30] is used to support splicing of advertising into live QAM MPEG-2 transport streams. [SCTE 130-3] is used to support alternate content decisions (advertising, blackouts, stream switching) for live and time shifted delivery. [SCTE 214-1] defines how SCTE 35 is carried in MPEG-DASH. [SCTE 224] (ESNI) is used to pass event and policy information from provider or other systems to communicate distribution control instructions.

The recommended practices for SCTE 35 are contained in [SCTE 67] “Recommended Practice for Digital Program Insertion for Cable”.


This standard supports delivery of events, frame accurate or non-frame accurate, and associated descriptive data in MPEG-2 transport streams, MPEG-DASH and HLS. This standard supports the splicing of content (MPEG-2 transport streams, MPEG-DASH, etc.) for the purpose of Digital Program Insertion, which includes Advertisement insertion and insertion of other content types. This standard defines an in-stream messaging mechanism to signal splicing and insertion opportunities. As such, this standard does not specify the insertion method used or constraints applied to the content being inserted, nor does it address constraints placed on insertion devices.

Fully compliant MPEG-2 transport stream (either Multi Program Transport Stream or Single Program Transport Stream), MPEG-DASH content, etc. is assumed. No further constraints beyond the inclusion of the defined cueing messages are placed upon the stream.

This standard specifies a technique for carrying notification of upcoming points and other timing information in the transport stream. A splice information table is defined for notifying downstream devices of splice events, such as a network Break or return from a network Break. For MPEG-2 transport streams, the splice information table, which pertains to a given program, is carried in one or more MPEG Sections carried in PID(s) referred to by that program’s Program Map Table (PMT). In this way, splice event notification can pass through most transport stream remultiplexers without need for special processing. For MPEG-DASH, the splice information table is carried in the DASH MPD (See [SCTE 214-1]) or in media segments (see [SCTE 214-2] and [SCTE 214-3]). Section 12.2 details how SCTE 35 messages are carried in HLS manifests.


SCTE 35 is a key part of the eco-system to enable advertising and content distribution business. A common/well-formed signaling model enables downstream systems to be implemented in a cost effective, consistent and non-ambiguous fashion to achieve business objectives.

Intended Audience

The intended audience is Content Providers, Multi-Channel Video Program Distributors, TV Everywhere Providers/Distributors and vendors/developers who build solutions.

Supporting Documentation