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NAB to Senate Commerce: Level the Indecency Playing Field

NAB to Senate Commerce: Level the Indecency Playing Field

Any indecency legislation should level the playing field among terrestrial, satellite and cable broadcasters. That’s what Bruce Reese, joint board chairman for the NAB and Bonneville president/CEO, testified at the Indecency Forum before the Senate Commerce Committee.
Satellite radio, he said, has become a haven for content that can’t be aired on free, over-the-air radio, noting that Howard Stern attributes his upcoming move to Sirius Satellite Radio to the indecency crackdown. Reese said both Stern and Opie & Anthony on XM Satellite Radio are available to any subscriber.
“And now, with XM partnering with DirecTV and Sirius with EchoStar, this programming will be piped into 25 million satellite television homes.”
The committee also should balance any changes to the indecency regime with First Amendment concerns, Reese said.
Most broadcasters have never been fined for broadcast indecency and the majority of complaints to the commission have originated from “one or two well-organized groups,” he reminded committee members.
Referring to a previous measure on indecency “that was ripped apart” by opponents, Committee Chairman Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said he hoped to have a revised measure ready in January.