11.22.2004 08:00 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FCC targets ABC’s “Monday Night Football”

The FCC may investigate whether ABC's "Monday Night Football" telecast violated any indecency standards last week, after it aired an opening skit that offended some viewers.

The opening of last week’s game featured actress Nicollette Sheridan in the locker room, supposedly dressed only in a white towel. In the skit, she drops the towel and jumps into the arms of Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens. Sheridan was shown only from behind and above the waist after dropping the towel.

This time there was no costume malfunction. Industry observers said ABC may have been looking for ways to increase its "Monday Night Football" ratings by borrowing a character from its top-rated show, "Desperate Housewives." ABC is the only broadcast network still negotiating for rights to NFL games.

An FCC spokeswoman said the agency has received a number of complaints about the ABC broadcast. The complaints will be reviewed and the commission will decide whether or not to open an investigation that could result in a fine against the network. The maximum indecency fine is $32,500 per incident. FCC Chairman Michael Powell has questioned ABC’s judgment in airing the racy promo.

ABC has apologized for the locker room intro.

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