TV Watch Counters FCC Crackdown

Broadcast networks are fighting back against the FCC indecency crackdown via TV Watch, which Friday will release a study it says does not square with activist calls for regulations and legislation to "increase government involvement in deciding what we can all see on TV."

Prompted by the FCC's release of almost a dozen proposed fines for indecency, TV watch commissioned a poll of 501 voters asking, among other things, about "the utility of the fines for broadcast TV in a multi-platform world, and if the government should distinguish when language is appropriate in educational and artistic works as it did for Saving Private Ryan and The Blues: Godfathers and Sons."

TV Watch was keeping its results close to the vest, planning to release them Friday, but one is said to be that almost a third of respondents would stream an unedited version of a network show edited to meet FCC restictions on content (as The WB did with Bedford Diaries).

TV Watch was launched last year to promote parental control and ratings over content regulation. Its members include Viacom, Fox, and NBC Universal (ABC parent Disney is not involved).

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.