FCC Gives ABC-TV 52 Hours To Pay For Bare Butt
February 20, 2008 at 11:44 AM (PT)
As expected, the FCC denied the appeal by ABC-owned stations and its affiliates for their FEB. 23rd, 2003 broadcast of "NYPD BLUE," which showed a woman's bare buttocks. According to BROADCASTING & CABLE, the FCC gave 40 affiliates until FEB. 21st -- approximately 52 hours from the appeal denial -- to pay the $27,500 fine. At the same time, it cancelled the fines to one dozen other stations. Reasons for the cancellation range from the expiration of a stature of limitation, to the fact that no one in the affiliates' market complained about the episode.
The FCC rejected arguments that it gave the affiliates insufficient time to appeal the ruling; the stations noted that they only had 17 days to file their appeal, when the usual time is 30 days. The COMMISSION asserted that it isn't required to give 30 days to appeal.
What if the stations refuse to pay the fine? According to the report, the FCC would have to go to district courts in each station's market to try to force them to pay up.
"The decision is disappointing," ABC counsel WADE HARGROVE said. "I'm sure that affiliates will assess the options now available to them. It is encouraging that the commission dismissed a number of complaints for failure to comply with the commission's requirements for the submission of complaints against broadcast stations."