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NAB Seeks More Time on Indecency

Broadcast lobby needs time to poll radio, TV, networks

Whether to establish an “egregious cases” broadcast indecency policy and concentrate on those cases over fleeting utterances is something the next chairman will need to ponder.

Given the coming change in commission leadership, plus the thousands of comments coming into the agency on the issue, have led NAB to ask for the comment deadlines on whether the agency should adopt an “egregious cases” policy to be pushed back 30 days.

The FCC had established a new docket for the issue; comments and replies were due to docket GN 13-86 on May 20 and June 18, respectively. NAB has asked the FCC to push those back to June 19 and July 18, respectively. 

NAB says the lobbying organization “needs sufficient time to consider the views of our varied membership and to gather additional information about the impacts of specific policies on radio and television stations and networks.”

Previous changes to the FCC’s broadcast indecency policies nearly a decade ago proved controversial and ultimately produced multiple legal challenges and appeals court decisions, as well as two Supreme Court decisions, according to NAB. Because more changes in indecency policies may prove similarly controversial — and certainly raise significant First Amendment and other questions — the comment period must be sufficient to provide all interested parties the time and opportunity to consider and present their views.

More than 90,000 comments had been filed since late April.