Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

FCC Reconsiders March 2006 Indecency Decisions

The FCC released the following with regard to "The 2003 Billboard Music Awards", "The Early Show", "The 2002 Billboard Music Awards" and "several episodes of "NYPD Blue", based on an opinion issued by the 2d Circuit.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released an Order addressing several television indecency decisions that were remanded to the Commission by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  As part of its March 15, 2006 Omnibus Indecency Order, the FCC originally found that the broadcasts of “The 2003 Billboard Music Awards,” “The Early Show,” “The 2002 Billboard Music Awards,” and several episodes of “NYPD Blue” were apparently indecent and profane.  Penalties were not proposed, however, because of specific circumstances associated with the broadcasts. 

In today’s Order, the Commission replaces its prior decisions about the above programs with new findings based on its review of affected licensee responses and public comments, and a fresh look at the issues raised by the broadcasts.  Specifically, the FCC finds that the use of offensive language by participants in “The 2003 Billboard Music Awards” and “The 2002 Billboard Music Awards” was indecent and profane.  The FCC also finds that the broadcast of the “S-Word” during “The Early Show” was neither indecent nor profane in this instance due to the fact that it occurred during news programming.  Finally, the Commission dismisses the indecency complaint regarding the “NYPD Blue” episodes as inadequate to trigger enforcement action.

Read the entire release here.

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