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NBC Backs Increased Indecency Fines, F-Word

NBC has told Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) that it "fully supports" increased indecency fines for repeat offenders, and it will not challenge a Federal Communications Commission proposal to levy such fines per utterance, rather than per incident.

Under both of those new scenarios, stations could potentially have to pay millions of dollars in fines.

Although NBC said it was "responsible for any content that is broadcast or transmitted over the NBC Television Network," as a legal matter when it comes to indecency fines, it is liable only for its owned stations, not its affiliates.

In response to the congressman’s request that all networks weigh in on their indecency policies, NBC President, Research and Media Development, Alan Wurtzel said the network would henceforth use a 10-second delay for all awards shows-it got burned by Bono’s f-word on the 2003 golden Globes.

The network also said it was raising its program rating on awards shows from PG to TV-14 "in an effort to remind parents that such programming may include a live, spontaneous and unpredictable broadcast."

Like ABC, NBC told Dingell that the f-word is a no-no except in rare cases. It cited its airing of Schindler’s List, as well as ABC’s airing of Saving Private Ryan, which that network also listed in its letter to Dingell defending the f-word in special circumstances.