PTC Praises FCC’s Proposed NYPD Blue Fine

The Parents Television Council, which has been feeling like a red-headed stepchild of late due to the Federal Communications Commission's relative quiet on indecency enforcement, praised the commission's proposed $1.4 million fine against ABC stations for a Feb. 25, 2003, episode of NYPD Blue.

While the FCC's crackdown on fleeting indecency and profanity remains in limbo, the agency said Friday that a "lingering" scene of a woman's naked behind and partially obscured breasts was indecent in context. It was the first proposed indecency fine of any kind in more than one year and came after FCC chairman Kevin Martin said earlier last week that court challenges to its enforcement regime had made it more difficult to regulate content.

PTC president Tim Winter was quick to try to leverage that move, saying that ABC parent Disney should "step up" and pay the fine -- due Feb. 11 -- and that Congress should take action on a stalled bill that would give the FCC express authority to go after fleeting nudity and profanity.

“We are thankful that the FCC has finally taken a stand for children and families with this unanimous order," Winter said. "The delay in getting here has been frustrating, but we are delighted by the decision. PTC members and concerned citizens across the country spoke out against the nudity in the 2003 episode of NYPD Blue, and today, their pleas have been answered.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.