FCC Asks for More Time in Indecency Case

WASHINGTON The Federal Communications Commission is asking a federal court for time to consider affiliates’ arguments that the agency erred in March when it decided, without issuing fines, that the f-word and s-word are likely to be indecent whenever broadcast.

A delay would let affiliates contest the decisions before the FCC, a necessary step prior to arguing in court, the agency said in a statement about its Wednesday filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The FCC said ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates backed its request.

Networks get a chance to argue against fines, but had no opportunity to contest the findings intended to establish guidelines.

The FCC in its filing said it would decide requests for reconsideration promptly.

Broadcasts at issue included the 2002 Billboard Music Awards on Fox, The Early Show on CBS and NYPD Blue on ABC. Billboard magazine is a unit of Adweek parent company VNU.