PxPixel
Broadcasters Buy Smut Bleeper - Broadcasting & Cable

Broadcasters Buy Smut Bleeper

Author:
Publish date:

A four-letter word can become a $1 million problem in TV these days, but Enco Systems is selling a solution: the "Bleepinator."

At the National Association of Broadcasters big convention last week, the tiny Southfield, Mich., firm unveiled a product that promises to clean up language by blending voice-recognition software with filtering technology. A producer can type any combination of profane words into a program, which will then automatically bleep or mute out the foul language as it occurs on-air.

The unit--also known internally as the "profanity blaster"--can also ban certain words in some dayparts but not others. "It's hard to do a sports show without saying the word 'balls' once in a while," says Don Backus, vice president, sales and marketing, at Enco, which hopes to license the technology for tv applications.

The gadget, selling under the brand name Guardien was originally designed for radio, particularly the saltier language of shock-jock shows during morning drive.

The device drew "nonstop" traffic through the Enco booth last week, including executives of  Clear Channel and Infinity. Priced at $10,000, roughly  40 units will begin shipping next month.

Among the handful of high-powered Washington power players who stopped by: FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Says Backus, "He said the FCC really doesn't like doing this stuff [issuing big fines] and this could make his job easier."

Related