WLS-TV hit with fine from FCC

As well as every other ABC affiliate in the Central and Mountain time zone for airing a episode of NYPD Blue on Feb. 25, 2003 that contained partial nudity. The fine being proposed is $1.4 million.

Only two ABC O&Os (WLS and KTRK-TV in Houston) are named in the action, since the rest of the O&Os fall in the Pacific and Eastern time zones, where Blue aired at 10 p.m., and fall outside the safe-harbor (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) for indecency.

However, ABC affiliates in the Central and Mountain time zones aired the show in the 9 p.m. slot, and that falls inside the safe harbor.

Besides ABC’s two O&Os, other station groups hit include Hearst-Argyle, Sinclair, Tribune, McGraw-Hill, Belo, Hubbard, Barrington, Citadel, Gray, Allbritton, Young, and Scripps.

To see a complete list of stations being fined, click here and scroll down.

Thought: ABC got caught with pants down – no pun intended. But really, does the FCC have better things to do than this? The way the agency has bungled this transition from analog to digital broadcasting – of course. Come next year, Chicagoans who don’t have cable, satellite, or a digital set are going to be more concerned about getting a picture on their sets than a silly indecent exposure on a TV show that ceased being good years ago.

Updated 11:37 pm on 2008-01-25 (fixed broken link) and 1:48 am on 2008-01-28 (added list)

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