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FCC Smut Complaints Sextuple in 1Q - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Smut Complaints Sextuple in 1Q

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The number of TV and radio broadcast indecency and profanity complaints filed with the FCC jumped to 275,131 in the first quarter of 2006. That was up more than six times the 44,109 filed in fourth quarter 2005, and over 10 times the number filed in the third quarter (26,185).

There were only 1,798 complaints in January, but that exploded to 138,527 in February and 134,865 in March.

B&C had predicted a big boost back in February after a FOIA request turned up at least 134,000 complaints between the beginning of the year and the end of February, driven by a campaign against NBC drama Las Vegas. The FCC said at the time those were all it had logged, not necessarily all it had received.

American Family Association had told B&C it filed over 170,000 complaints about a Las Vegas scene in a strip club.

AFA had also contributed to that 44,109 fourth-quarter total with complaints about NBC's dysfunctional priest drama, Book of Daniel.

The Parents Television Council, another watchdog group, has led the way in rallying members to flood the FCC with indecency complaints over shows that offend its members. But in the wake of PTC’s success with e-mail campaigns, AFA vowed last fall to ramp up its complaints, including putting calls for action in church bulletins.

All but 126 of the total 275,257 complaints filed against radio and TV in the first quarter of 2006 were for indecency and profanity (obscenity is included in the category as well).

Those other 126 were spread among such categories as "general criticism" of content, 47 complaints; accessibility issues--closed captioning, video description--52 complaints; and an "other" programming category, 27, that might include loud commercials or violence.

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