As you know by now, last week the U.S. Supreme Court found the FCC’s enforcement of its indecency policy unconstitutional in FCC v. Fox. As Bob Corn-Revere and Ronnie London described in our Advisory , this case concerned the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards shows televised by Fox as well as a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue televised by ABC. While the Supreme Court did NOT address the First Amendment issue of whether the FCC can constitutionally prohibit fleeting expletives and momentary nudity, it did find that the FCC’s enforcement of those policies with regard to these particular shows violated due process, because the networks had no advance notice of them.
As we noted more than a year ago, there are approximately 300 TV station renewal applications from the last renewal cycle still pending due to indecency complaints filed against them. It is unclear how many of them relate to these particular shows, but to the extent any renewal applications have been held up due to complaints against these shows only, it should only be a matter of time before those renewal applications are granted.Continue Reading What does the Supreme Court Indecency Decision Mean for the Long Pending License Renewal Applications?