Fox Challenges FCC’s Married by America Fine
Network Files Petition for Reconsideration with Federal Communications Commission
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/24/2008 10:15:00 AM
Fox won't pay the Federal Communications Commission's proposed $91,000 fine against it for a 2003 airing of reality show Married by America, instead challenging the decision.
“Fox will not be paying the indecency fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission against five of its owned stations in the forfeiture order issued Feb. 21, 2008, for the April 7, 2003, airing of the program Married by America,” the network said Monday. "Sinclair Broadcast Group and Mountain Licenses L.P. will also not be paying the indecency fine."
The handful of Fox-owned and Fox-affiliated stations had been hit with fines of $7,000 apiece for the program, which featured pixilated nudity.
"Fox is filing today, on behalf of the 13 owned and affiliated stations fined, a petition for reconsideration of the FCC’s notice of forfeiture," the network said in a statement. "Fox believes that the FCC’s decision in this case was arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent and patently unconstitutional.”
The fine was initially $1.18 million against 169 stations, but the FCC wound up only fining the handful of stations where complaints had actually been filed in that market per a new policy, calling it part of its "appropriately restrained enforcement policy."
The FCC's crackdown on profanity was smacked down by a Federal Appeals Court, which found that the commission had not justified a profanity ruling against Fox broadcasts of swearing by Cher and Nicole Ritchie. The Supreme Court's decision to hear an FCC appeal of that decision means that the FCC's enforcement power over cussing will remain an open question until next fall at the earliest.
The FCC issued the forfeiture order Feb. 22 and gave Fox stations 30 days to pay up. The agency is running up against a five-year statue of limitations on collecting indecency fines and while its profanity enforcement is in limbo, it appeared to be flexing its muscles on the nudity front.
"We believe in enforcing indecency starndards, especially when children are watching," said FCC spokeswoman Mary Diamond in response to the news of Fox's challenge.
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more