10.18.2004 11:31 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FOX disagrees with FCC indecency finding; appeal uncertain

FOX Broadcasting said it disagrees with an FCC finding last week that an episode of its "Married by America" reality program was indecent, and thus it doesn’t deserve a fine totaling near $1.2 million. However, the network hasn’t said whether or not it will appeal.

The FCC found that some of the material in the series, which featured male and female Las Vegas strippers, was indecent and offensive. The commission said it was designed to “pander to and titillate the audience.”

FCC commissioners voted unanimously to fine each of the 169 FOX TV stations that aired the program $7000. FOX has 30 days to appeal the fines, which total $1,183,000.

The fine is the heaviest ever levied against a television broadcaster. The previous record of $550,000 was levied against CBS last month for the Super Bowl halftime show last February that included a racy duet in which singer Janet Jackson’s breast was briefly exposed.

It’s also the first indecency fine against a reality television show, though other complaints are being investigated.

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