I have a 16:9 HD H.264 commercial that will run during a 4:3 SD telecast of a basketball game. They're asking that I send it via beta (they must live in a cave). How should I export it from FCP and should I still include a countdown?
Well, you need an IO card (not sure what NLE you are using, so can't give advice on that front), and a rental betaSP deck. And a black burst generator. And then you can output to that tape. But you need to see if they want it 4:3 cropped (lose the sides), or if they will take a letterboxed version so the full frame can be seen.
And yes, you should always have bars/tone/slate and program start at Hour 1.
And a LOT of this country still broadcasts in SD...from betaSP.