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FCC Proposes $3.9 Million in TV Indecency Fines

FCC Proposes $3.9 Million in TV Indecency Fines

The FCC has proposed a total of nearly $4 million in fines to resolve more than 300,000 consumer complaints about TV indecency.
The actions represent the first proposed indecency-related fines released by the agency since 2004.
Perhaps the most well known case involves the 2004 Super Bowl half-time broadcast when Janet Jackson exposed her breast. The commission has upheld its earlier $550,000 fine against 20 CBS stations. Though the network agreed to a previous settlement of several other indecency cases, it had maintained the incident was not actionably indecent.
The FCC has again disagreed with CBS, and stated that it also “holds that CBS consciously and willfully failed to take actions to prevent the broadcast of the material, and that CBS is responsible for the halftime show.”
CBS stands by its earlier decision, reported Reuters. It could appeal to the FCC and the federal courts.
The FCC proposed fines representing $3.9 million, including a record $3.6 million for stations that aired a show depicting teenagers engaged in group sex. The decisions, available on the FCC’s Web site (, address complaints about nearly 50 television programs broadcast between February 2002 and March 2005. The commission believes the actions “provide further information for broadcasters about the kinds of material that are and are not prohibited under the FCC’s indecency and profanity standards,” according to its announcement.

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