No one escapes the FCC inquisition

The FCC is pushing the pursuit of cleaning the airwaves even further. Going beyond live broadcasts of award ceremonies of the world’s rich and famous, sports programming is next.

In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.

“It looks like they want to end live broadcast TV,” said one executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “We already know that they aren’t afraid to go after news.” [reuters]

The article goes on to say that live sports events will come under an almost, “no-slip” rule, meaning that accidents will come with consequences.

Indecent or not, how are broadcasters supposed to police ambiant noise from the crowd in a live event? Go to an Iowa Hawkeye football game some time and pay attention to what is coming from the student section. Sometimes, those chants can be so loud that the mics in the announcer booth can be pick it up, and that’s in an outdoors venue.

7-second(perhaps even more than that) delays or just not putting a mic on the crowd will be the only answer. Or else you have to have some one listening for “bad stuff” on the ambiant audio as well as another person listening to the main content for more “bad stuff.” That means seperate delays for each, costing more money for the broadcaster.

I might be pushing the idea, but the tighter things get about this, the more that will need to be done to stay out of hot water. Kinda makes having 5.1 dolby-digital surround sound not worth it if the FCC cracks down so hard that you can enjoy what you thought you were paying for.  Rediculous.