The Big Four networks, minus ABC, have asked a New York federal appeals court not to delay their court case against four FCC profanity rulings by letting the FCC take a second look at those decisions.
Five days before the case was to get underway, The FCC last week asked the court to put off initial briefs and arguments while it reviewed the March decisions against four broadcasts.
The four findings were against ABC’s NYPD Blue (the BS-word), two Fox Billboard Music Award Broadcasts (f-words and s-words) and the Early Show (a BS variant). The Early Show finding is particularly troublesome since it is a news program, which has historically gotten more leeway for the “heat of battle” type of language or video.
CBS, Fox and its affiliates are also opposing the FCC request for review, while ABC (see below), its affiliates and the affiliate groups for both CBS and NBC are supporting it.
All three networks told the federal appeals court for the second circuit Friday that the FCC is just trying to delay judicial scrutiny of its “supposed” indecency guidance, which both networks and stations argue is not much guidance at all and is likely unconstitutional.