Smut Tapes Multiply With Complaints

Author:
Publish date:

Sources confirm that the FCC has been asking for increasingly more tapes of sports broadcasts as it reviews indecency and profanity complaints, which have also increased exponentially. "We've never been getting inquiries like we're getting now," said one source with knowledge of the tape requests.

The FCC says it is simply doing its job, which is to follow up on complaints.

In response to a story in The Hollywood Reporter on the boost in requests for tapes of live sporting events and broadcaster worries, FCC spokesman David Fiske responded: "We don't monitor the airwaves. We only investigate and respond to complaints. When we receive a specific complaint of indecent material, we routinely request a tape."

The networks do routinely supply those tapes under something of an informal "voluntary" agreement with the FCC, but they are supplying more and more of them. One of the concerns in network executive suites is that while the FCC has ramped up the process with tougher enforcement and an online complaint form, that process does not factor out nuisance complaints that take up the FCC and networks' time and energy in determining they are baseless.

One broadcaster also suggested that viewers' desire for an "at the game" experience with digital, ambient, surround-sound made it virtually impossible to fail-safe the system against exhuberant fans with four-letter comments, or even chants.

The FCC has put broadcasters on notice that fleeting profanities are fair game for proposed indecency fines.

Related