TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: TV Networks, Stations Challenge FCC Ruling

TV Networks, Stations Challenge FCC Ruling

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 15 Apr 2006 01:51:05 -0400

By GARY GENTILE AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Four TV broadcast networks and their affiliates
have filed court challenges to a March 15 Federal Communications
Commission ruling that found several programs "indecent" because of

ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, along with their network affiliate associations
and the Hearst-Argyle Television group of stations, filed notices of
appeal in various federal courts, including in Washington, D.C., and
New York. Some were filed late Thursday and the rest Friday morning.

The move represents a protest against the aggressive enforcement of
federal indecency rules that broadcasters have complained are vague
and inconsistently applied. Millions of dollars in fines have been
levied based on those rules.

The appeals challenge the FCC's finding that profane language was used
on the CBS program "The Early Show" in 2004, incidents involving Cher
and Nicole Richie on the "Billboard Music Awards" shows broadcast by
Fox in 2002 and 2003 and various episodes of the ABC show "NYPD Blue"
that aired in 2003.

The FCC did not issue fines in those cases because the incidents
occurred before a 2004 ruling that virtually any use of certain
expletives would be considered profane and indecent.

While none of the cases involved NBC, the network filed a petition to
intervene on behalf of the other networks and stations.


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