This week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to end the process of blacking out NFL games that do not sell out. The move was enthusiastically approved of by fans, especially those living in small markets, but the truth is NFL games may still continue to be blacked out thanks to the complicated nature of broadcast television agreements.
"We need you to get out there," John Oliver urged to internet commenters everywhere on Sunday night. "And for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls. Turn on caps lock and fly my pretties, fly! Fly!" Along with that rallying cry, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver presented the link to FCC.Gov/Comments, encouraging people to lodge their complaints with the FCC
Oftentimes when we hear that a network’s been slapped with an FCC fine, it has something to do with content that slipped past the censor or was too explicit in some way or another. But that’s not quite the case for Conan’s latest brush with the Federal Communications Commission. The late night cable talk show received a $25,000 fine from the FCC for using a certain tone in an ad promoting Jack Black’s appearance on the series last year.
With the exception of the particularly creative ads, most people probably don't love commercials. But the ads that play extremely loud on TV can be especially annoying. Fortunately, it looks like that'll be a thing of the past, thanks to a law that went into effect this week, which bans loud commercials.
After years of hearings, appeals and harsh words, the FCC’s crusade to fine ABC and Fox over nudity and awards show swear words has ended in defeat. The Supreme Court ruled today in a unanimous decision that the FCC had no right to call the content indecent when it gave no prior notice to either network that it was altering its policies.
It looks like the Supreme Court will uphold decency laws in broadcast television once again. The censorship rules which apply to broadcasts between 6 and 10 pm are being challenged on the grounds that the laws are vague and in violation of free speech, but there’s no sign that the Supreme Court will bow to the pressure.
DirecTV executive vice president Derek Chang has taken the dispute to the FCC. In a letter to the commission, Change claims that Fox's ads have been misleading customers by suggesting that they may lose their local Fox channels after the November 1st deadline. According to his letter, these local channels are handled under an entirely different contract and don't expire until December 31st. Chang says Fox is intentionally trying to create confusion over the issue.
The current case, between the FCC and network FOX, stems from fleeting expletive incidents occurring at “The Billboard Music Awards” back in 2002 and 2003. Sure, the network could just clam up and take the fine, but it’s the principle of the thing that lands us in a debate. Should a network be punished for a slip up on live television? More importantly, is it constitutional for an arm of the government to impose laws that violate first amendment rights?
Seven seconds may not seem like much, but in truth, it’s everything. I don’t want to wonder what the players just did, I want to wonder what they’re about to do. I don’t want to think I hope they just scored, I want to watch them actually try to score. For the love of all things decent, I want to be a part of the action live, as it’s happening
The scene is relatively tame by movie or even premium cable standards, but it caused a major stir back in the day. Ultimately, the FCC fined ABC and several of its affiliates 1.4 million dollars for it, but after a lengthy legal battle, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be paying anytime soon