Complaints Over TV Content Plunge in 2007

FCC: 368 indecency, obscenity complaints in Q3 2007 vs. 4,368 in Q2, 149,457 in Q1.

While the Federal Communications Commission continues to fight court battles over indecency complaints filed five years ago (NYPD Blue) and more (profanity on Fox's Billboard Awards), the commission's most recent tally of radio and TV indecency complaints (for the third quarter of 2007) showed another dramatic decrease.

According to the FCC's most recent report, indecency and obscenity complaints against broadcasters fell from 4,368 in the second quarter of 2007 to only 368 in the third quarter. A spokeswoman for the FCC's Consumer and Public Affairs Bureau, which tallies the complaints, says that figure is correct and that the duplication of "368" is a coincidence.

That continued the dramatic fall-off in complaints: The second quarter had been down just as dramatically from the first, when there had been 149,457 complaints.

The complaints are those "recorded in CGB’s automated tracking systems for the period July 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007."

The FCC's hands are tied somewhat in enforcing its indecency rules against current broadcasts, with both nudity- and language-related rulings currently being challenged in court -- a point FCC chairman Kevin Martin made to reporters at the beginning of the year.