PTC to Super Bowl 'Player': Keep it Clean

An upbeat Parents Television Council is asking CBS to make sure this Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast is a family friendly affair.

“We want to remind CBS to take the word ‘broadcast’ literally, and to ensure that the Super Bowl, its halftime show and postgame activity, are all safe and appropriate for the largest and widest viewing audience of the year," said PTC President Tim Winter. "Millions of children will be part of that audience. We are counting on CBS to prevent f-bombs or wardrobe malfunctions from reaching living rooms across our nation."

But beyond evoking Justin Timberlake's FCC-fined halftime reveal of Janet Jackson in the 2004 CBS Super Bowl broadcast, which is marking its 15th anniversary, and the occasional open mike profanity, Winter was all about accentuating the positive.

“In recent months, CBS and their broadcast standards team have done a superb job to ensure that a five-second delay is in place for awards shows, thereby allowing the quick removal of graphic or indecent material," said Winter. (Such CBS efforts have been on PTC's nice list for a while).

"And the Fox Broadcast Network stepped up their game after an on-field, post-game, expletive made it to air earlier in the year," said Winter of a network whose entertainment fare has drawn its share of PTC ire. "We applaud those determined efforts and call on CBS to redouble its commitment.

It was PTC's complaints against CBS and Jackson back in 2004 that helped drive the FCC's crackdown on fleeting indecency, that and swearing on an awards show -- NBC's Golden Globes.

We also urge advertisers to make sure their ads are appropriate for the families who will be watching," said Winter.

PTC also has some tips for watching Super Bowl ads with your kids and putting all that multi-million dollar-driven messaging into some kind of context.

John Eggerton

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.