Dr. Vladimir Zworykin invents the iconoscope, an important component in the
creation of the television set.
1927 The first transmission
of a television picture between two widely separated cities.
1928 GE begins semiregular
telecasts from its labs in Schenectady, NY
1929 First primitive color TV
1930 NBC opened experimental
TV station W2XBS in New York
1931 CBS opens similar
experimental TV station
June 19, 1934: 1934 Federal
Communications Act Passed, establishing the FCC
1938 NBC transmits several
notable telecasts from New York, including scenes from the Broadway play
Susan and God starring Gertrude
Lawrence. Interest in the new media begins to pick up.
1938 NBC station carries the
first live, unscheduled coverage of a news event in progress.
April 30, 1939 TV introduced
at the World's Fair
1940 NBC began relaying
telecasts to the GE station in Schenectady, thus forming TV's first "network"
1941 NBC New York broadcasts
relayed to Philadelphia, giving NBC a threestation "network."
1941 NBC and CBS granted
first commercial licenses by the FCC for their New York stations on July 1st.
1944 The DuMont laboratories
received a commercial license for WABD, New York.
1945 Science fiction writer
Arthur C. Clark writes an article in which he outlines the possibilities for
establishing a global communications system using three satellites placed in
geosynchronous orbit an equal distance from each other.
1946 Regular network series
begin to take a foothold. Network TV's first major series effort was called
Hour Glass. Other series debuting in
1946 included You Are an Artist,
Television Screen Magazine,
Play the Game, Cash and Carry, Face to Face, I
Love to Eat, and Faraway Hill
Kraft Television Theater debuts as
the first regularly scheduled drama series to go out over a network.
1947 World Series coverage
brings TV's first mass audience.
Mary Kay and Johnny is TV's first
series to show a married couple who shared a bed.
Subsequent sitcoms including
I Love Lucy,
The Dick Van Dyke Show, and
Donna Reed would show married
couples in separate beds.
1948 Cable TV introduced as
an alternate television service to households where reception of overtheair TV
signals was poor
1948 ABC airs it's first
"network" program, On the Corner
by using stations owned by DuMont and independent stations.
1948 ABC gets its own New
York station and production center and begins network service on a regular
1948 CBS begins network feed.
1948 NBC opens its Midwest
network of stations
1948 TV's earliest primetime
delivery was on the sitcom Mary Kay and
Johnny that starred Mary Kay Stearns and Johnny Stearns who played
themselves on the series.
In December, 1948 Mary Kay
gave birth in reallife to a baby boy named Christopher. Within a month of his
birth, the baby was written into the script.
1949 East and Midwest were
linked for the first time in a special ceremonial telecast.
1951 West coast is connected
to TV network. Television is now nationwide.
1952: Lucille Ball's
pregnancy causes problems for TV censors because the word "pregnancy" is not
Characters instead make references to Lucy's "expecting."
Mid ‘50s – Compatible color
1954 First National Color
Broadcast (January 1, 1954): Tournament of Roses Parade.
1956 DuMont goes out of
business and ABC earns its place as one of the "big three" networks.
Feb 10, 1960: NBC censors
won't allow Tonight Show host Jack Paar to tell a joke about a "water closet."
1962: First satellite TV
transmission via Telstar I: an eight minute experimental broadcast from France
to the US. US Congress approves Communications Satellite Act.
All in the Family's Archie Bunker
shocks viewers with his use of racial slurs. For the first time ever, network
audiences hear a toilet flush.
1972: US adopts a "Skies
Policy" to encourage private industry to enter the satellite business.
1972 TV addresses the topic
of abortion on Norman Lear's series Maude.
A twopart episode entitled "Maude's Dilemma" depicted a 45yearold woman named
Maude Findlay (Beatrice Arthur) finding herself pregnant and opting for an
1973: Canada begins operation
of Anik 1, the first North American domestic satellite.
1973 First Full Female Nudity
on Network TV. A broadcast on PBS of the play
Steambath featured actress Valerie
Perrine completely naked.
October 30, 1973:
New York radio station, owned by the Pacifica Foundation, broadcast George
Carlin's "Filthy Words" monologue. A man, driving with his young son heard the
broadcast and wrote a letter to the FCC stating that, although he could perhaps
understand the "record's being sold for private use, I certainly cannot
understand the broadcast of same over the air that, supposedly, you control."
June 21, 1973: US Supreme
Court defines obscenity which is not granted First Amendment protection in
Miller v. California.
Western Union launches
Wester 1, soon followed by Westar II, the first domestic satellite for the USA.
HBO establishes the first
operational satellite broadcast system on Westar I to send programming to its
1975 First Uncensored Comedy
Special HBO features Robert Klein exclaiming, "It's subscription…we can say
anything. Sh*t! How'd you like that? Sh*t!"
Taylor Howard of San
Andreas, California, becomes the first individual to receive Cband satellite TV
signals on a homebuilt system. Federal
Communications Commission issues a declarative ruling stating that 4.5 meter
dishes may be acceptable (previous standard was 9 meters), providing the
terminals attain certain minimum levels of performance. HBO launches satellite
service with " From Manilla" heavyweight boxing match. Ted Turner launches WTBS
as America' first "superstation." Christian Broadcasting Network (later to
become The Family Channel) launches as the first satellitedelivered programming
The years 1976 to 1980 saw
the beginnings of the satellite TV industry, with the first signals broadcast
from HBO (Home Box Office), TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) and CBN (Christian
Broadcasting Network, later The Family Channel), the establishment of SPACE, the
Society for Private and Commercial Earth Stations (the Satellite Television
Industry Association, Inc.) and COMSAT/Satellite Television Corporation's
request to construct and operate a Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) system.
1976 First Nipple on Network
TV on NBC miniseries Captains and the Kings.
1977 TV's first openly gay
series regular, Billy Crystal as Jody on Soap.
July 3, 1978: "Seven Dirty
Words" case decided in the US Supreme Court, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation. Court
holds that the government can Constitutionally regulate indecent broadcasts.
A do it yourself manual,
"low cost satellite TV receiving system" is published by Taylor Howard.
DTH industry picks up steam
as technology is shared between "radio" operators around the world.
FCC makes licensing of
satellite dishes voluntary except for satellite dishes used for international
NeimanMarcus features a
home satellite TV system from ScientificAtlanta on the cover of its Christmas
catalog for over $36,000. Considered the year for the DTH industry. 5,000
systems shipped, each costing over $10,000.
1980: National Microtech
offers the first home satellite system priced below $10,000. SPACE,
the Society for Private and Commercial Earth Stations (the Satellite Television
Industry Association, Inc.), is formed in San Jose, California. Satellite
Television Corp. (a COMSAT subsidiary) requests FCC authorization to construct
and operated a DBS system in the BSS band (12.3 12.7 GHz), established by
WARC79. In the following seven months 13 additional broadcast direct service (BDS)
applications are submitted to the FCC.
1981 Saturday Night Live's
"Weekend Update" anchor Charles Rocket lets a profanity slip and is fired
From 1981 to 1985, the
"bigdish" CBand satellite market began to take off. System sales soared as
hardware prices fell, and the idea of a practical DBS system was beginning to
Hardware prices begin to
drop, estimated 33,500 systems shipped.
Stanley S. Hubbard, USSB,
files for first DBS license in 1981.
launches Galaxy Ifirst satellite dedicated to cable TV distribution.
1984: President Ronald
Reagan signs "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984" including Section 705, a
provision legalizing the private reception of unscrambled satellite television
Satellite hardware prices
drop below $5,000. Industry ships 515,000 systems.
Home Box Office announces its plan to market scrambled HBO and Cinemax
programming to home satellite TV viewers via local cable companies.
Hardware prices drop below $3,000. Industry enjoys record
year, ships 735,000 systems. Reps. Billy Tauzin (DLA) and Charlie Rose (DNC)
introduce H.R. 1840, a bill guaranteeing access to scrambled satellite TV
programming at "reasonable" rates. Senator Albert Gore (DTN) introduces S.
1618, a companion bill to H.R. 1840.
becomes the first programmer to scramble its movie services fulltime.
M/ACOM introduces "alone" VideoCipher II consumer decoder.
Industry rocked by negative press coverage and cableled antidish advertising
campaign. Shipments plummet to 235,000 as over 50% of all satellite retailers
close their businesses. First integrated receiver/decoder introduced by Houston
Tracker Systems. SBCA founded on December 2 as a result of a merger between the
Society for Private and Commercial Earth Stations (SPACE) and the Direct
Broadcast Satellite Association (DBSA). Federal Communications Commission adopts
rule which would preempt local zoning or other regulations governing the size
and placement of earth station antennas.
1986 Fox broadcast network
1986 First Time the Word
"Condom" Used in Prime Time on Cagney &
FCC clarifies its earlier
ruling calling for nondiscrimination against satellite TV antennas and
drops requirements. Senator
Gore and Representative Tauzin introduce S. 889/H.R. 1885 legislation calling
for thirdparty packaging and consumer access to network signals, among other
provisions. Reps. Robert Kastenmeier and Mike Synar introduce H.R. 2848,
legislation clarifying the rights of dish owners to continue to access the
superstation and network signals. Hardware prices drop to $2,000 as sales
continue in the industry. Annual shipments rise slightly, totaling 268,000.
First comprehensive programming packages hit the market. Initial reports of
VideoCipher II security compromise surface, problem grows throughout the year.
Matsushita, as part of joint licensing agreement with COMSAT, begin selling flat
plate antennas in Japan.
1988: December 1988
President Reagan signs into law a bill requiring the FCC to implement 18 U.S.
Code § 1464 banning indecent broadcasts completely – a 24hour ban.
SBCA establishes industrywide AntiPiracy Task Force (APTF) to combat signal
President Reagan signs
Satellite Home Viewer' Act into law, legislation establishes special copyright
license for delivery of superstation and network broadcast signals to DTH
marketplace, also toughens penalties for theft of satellite signals. SBCA holds
semiannual trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Predictions for dish sales for 1988
at 300,000. Piracy problem escalates. In September, General Instrument announces
plans to introduce VideoCipher II Plus within a year.
SBCA launches aggressive
antipiracy program. Piracy
problem persists, VideoCipher II Plus fully introduced in market, AntiPiracy
Task Force conducts major raids of pirate operations nationwide. Industry ships
industry marks three millionth unit shipped. Last
VideoCipher II is shipped into market.
1990: DC Circuit Court
requires the FCC to lift the 24hour ban on indecency
1991: The first lesbian kiss
on network television occurred on the 2/7/91 episode of
L.A. Law which featured a prolonged
kiss between two female lawyers.
Senator Albert Gore (DTN)
reintroduces cable legislation (S12). PRIMESTAR
launches first mediumpowered Kuband service. General Instrument and SkyPix
demonstrate digital video compression.
1992 to present (2004):
Satellite television service takes off – estimated 19 million subscribers,
making it one of the hottest and fastest growing consumer electronics products
of all time. The industry has seen the delivery of interactive TV services,
twoway highspeed Internet access via satellite, and the emergence of satellite
Consumer upgrade and
conversion to VideoCipher II Plus and VCRS (VideoCipher Renewable Security)
begins. Some 400,000 consumers receive new decoders at no charge. Programmers
begin shutting down VideoCipher II data stream, VideoCipher II Plus remains
Congress overrides President
Bush' veto of Cable Act. Legislation guarantees access to satellitedelivered
cable programming services by alternative multichannel video providers such as
DBS operators. DBS Center announces the one millionth authorized VideoCipher.
SBCA President Chuck Hewitt announces that the last half of 1992 is the
industry' best since scrambling. General Instrument demonstrates the first
satellite delivered digital High Definition Television (HDTV). Hughes announces
DIRECTV DBS project.
Satellite industry ships 4
millionth home satellite television system.
SkyTRENDS project. Programming
subscription levels skyrocket as hundreds of thousands of former "" convert to
legal subscriptions. Nashville, TN hosts the largest satellite industry trade
show in SBCA history as over 6,400 flock to Opryland to visit with new DBS
1993: With NYPD Blue, Steven
Bochco launches network TV's first Rrated series. A quarter of ABC's 225
affiliates preempt the first episode. NYPD
Blue would also gain infamy as one of the first prime time network
series to regularly show naked buttocks.
1993: First recorded use of
the word "asshole" on broadcast TV in PTC's ETS database.
PRIMESTAR rolls out
nationwide digital TV service via mediumpower KuBand satellite. Company
unveils plans to transition to highpower DBS operations in 1996. PRIMESTAR ends
1994 with 350,000 units shipped, approximately 250,000 subscribers.
Thomson Consumer Electronics
sells first DSS system to consumer in Jackson, MS in midJune. Company, joined
by DIRECTV and USSB, launch the first national advertising campaign in DTH
history. Thomson ships nearly 600,000 DSS systems by year' end, DIRECTV/USSB
report about 350,000 subscribers online. CBand DTH shipments surge to historic
levels, hitting nearly 85,000 in August, total 646,000 for the year. At year'
end, 2.2 million American households are purchasing programming via CBand DTH
satellite systems. EchoStar Communications completes $335 million debt offering
for DBS service to begin in late 1995.
1994: First recorded uses of
the words "screw" and "piss" on broadcast TV in PTC's ETS database.
1995 UPN and WB launched as
AlphaStar announces plans to
launch DBS service. DIRECTV,
USSB and PRIMESTAR announce plans to spend nearly $170 million in advertising in
1995. General Instrument begins $15 million Full View Ad campaign. February sees
the highest monthly shipment figures for Cband in 1995 45,000 systems.
DIRECTV authorizes Toshiba, Uniden and Hughes Network Systems to manufacture DSS
equipment. FCC strips Advanced Communications of 110 degree orbital slot. Four
million shares of EchoStar DISH stock offered at $17 $63 million raised. TCI
begins trial sales of PRIMESTAR system for $599 (installation included).
EchoStar successfully launches DBS1 satellite. FCC votes to auction DBS
channels at 110 degrees.
1995: First recorded use of
the word "dick" in PTC's ETS database
AT&T invests $137.5 million
for 2.5% of DIRECTV. Companies announce plans for joint marketing efforts.
conducts largest trade show in Association history at Las Vegas Hilton. EchoStar
launches DISH network on March 4. AlphaStar network launches in July 1996. As of
November 1996, 2.5 million DSS satellite systems sold in the U.S.
Jan 3, 1996:
Telecommunications Act of 1996 is passed; allows anyone to enter the
communications business – to let any communications business to compete in any
market against any other.
April 12, 1997: Norm
MacDonald lets the fword slip during SNL's "Weekend Update." He is not fired.
April 1997 Ellen DeGeneres
becomes the first lesbian character to star in a lead role in a prime time
1997: First recorded use of
the words "tits" and "bullshit" in PTC's ETS databse.
1997: Supreme Court upholds
Pacifica ruling in Reno v. ACLU
1997: PRIMESTAR moves its service
to a new mediumpower satellite that increases its capacity to a total of 160
discontinues service. FCC uses new regulatory authority to overturn restrictive
zoning ordinances and private covenants. Librarian of Congress upholds the
Copyright Arbitration Rate Panel's (CARP) recommendation to raise the copyright
rates for DTH satellite carriers. Congress introduces new legislation that would
stay the new rate increases until Congress has time to consider its impact on
competition in the video marketplace.
1998: On December 30, 1998, the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a permanent
injunction in the CBS, Fox v. PrimeTime 24 case. The injunction, when combined
with the earlier preliminary injunction issued by the same court, could disrupt
service to millions of DTH satellite television subscribers nationwide. The
Federal Communications Commission issued its rules for DBS public service
obligations, which were originally mandated by the 1992 Cable Act, requiring DBS
providers set aside four percent of their video channel capacity for
noncommercial programming of an educational or informational nature, and
restricting the number of channels a platform can offer to any single national
educational/ informational programmer to one. Satellite TV surpasses 10 million
subscriber mark in November, with DTH adding more than 1.6 million subscribers
in 1998. The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) launches the
TV Antenna Selector Map Program. Using colorcoded maps that match antenna
performance, the new program will help satellite retailers and consumers select
the appropriate type of antenna based on television reception location. EchoStar
Communications and News Corp. agreed to a deal swapping satellite licenses and
hardware for common stock shares totaling around $1 billion. The stock transfer
of about 24 million shares will give News Corp. a 30 percent share in EchoStar
and will give MCI/Worldcom a 7 percent share. Hughes Electronics Corp. Agreed to
Buy U.S. Satellite Broadcasting in a Deal Worth $1.3 Billion in Cash and Stocks.
The agreement will combine Hughes' DirecTV programming with soontobe former
partner USSB's premium movie broadcasts, increasing DirecTV's total channels to
210 from 185.
Slightly more than four
years after launch, DIRECTV announced that it had reached the 4 million
subscriber milestone. PRIMESTAR announced that it had ended plans to create a
joint highpower DBS operation at 110 degrees West with the Rupert Murdochowned
ASkyB Corporation. The company said that it will concentrate on expansion of its
existing mediumpower DBS business while also moving forward to launch a
differentiated service using the 11 highpower DBS channels at 119 degrees West
which are owned by TEMPO. EchoStar Satellite Corp. and Loral Skynet agreed in
principle to form a strategic alliance to offer new digitalbased services to
cable operators, programmers, and DTH consumers. According to the companies, the
alliance will create the only DVB (digital video broadcast) DTH platform in the
United States that allows specialized and mainstream programming to be packaged
separately, yet received in the same settop box and accessible through a single
smart card and electronic program guide. In August, the FCC issued its Order on
Reconsideration on several cases involving satellite dish placement. The FCC
ruled against the following restrictions: a central community dish restricting a
consumer's right to an individual dish; homeowner's associations or
municipalities requiring priorapproval permits for dish installation (except in
cases of legitimate safety or historic preservation purposes); mobile home parks
restricting residents from installing dishes if they lease the property on which
their home rests; and, homeowners associations levying fines against consumers
who challenge installation restrictions. Order went into effect January 22,
1999. The SBCA announced plans to develop and implement an industrywide retail
certification and standards program, offering five separate areas of
certification including: installation and integration; programming; sales and
marketing; business management; and customer service. SBCA '98 First National
Convention A Success – The SBCA's firstever national convention, SBCA '98:
National Satellite Convention and Exposition, held July 2325 at the Opryland
Hotel in Nashville, TN, attracted over 5,000 attendees. AT&T, the nation's
largest long distance company and TeleCommunications, Inc. (TCI), the number
two cable company in the United States agreed to merge. The deal, valued at
nearly $70 billion, set the stage for nationwide local telephone/Internet
competition between AT&T and the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs).
November 8, 1999 FCC's
Enforcement Bureau is established
November: President William
J. Clinton signs the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) into law that
for the first time allows consumers to receive their local broadcast signals via
their direct broadcast satellite system. The move is intended to increase
competition between the DBS industry and competing multichannel video providers,
most notably, cable television. The SBCA and its member companies worked
diligently on Capitol Hill and at the FCC to ensure passage of the legislation.
January EchoStar Communications announced that its total subscribers numbered
over 2 million. Hughes Electronics and DIRECTV announced their agreement with
PRIMESTAR, Inc., to acquire the 2.3 millionsubscriber PRIMESTAR direct
broadcast satellite mediumpower business and Tempo highpower satellite assets
in two transactions valued at approximately $1.82 billion. DIRECTV gains 11
transponders at the 119 degrees West longitude slot, and two satellites (one to
be launched as a back up for DIRECTV or other Hughesrelated businesses) from
Tempo Satellite Inc. This gives DIRECTV highpower DBS frequencies at each of
the three orbital slots that provide full coverage of the continental United
States: 101, 110, and now the 119 degrees West longitude slot.
1999: First recorded use of
the word "shit" in PTC's ETS database – on CBS's
March 30, 2001: FCC imposes
its first fine against a television station for an indecent broadcast: a $21,000
fine for television indecency to Telemundo of Puerto Rico
April 6, 2001: FCC Publishes
Industry Guidelines on Indecency.
2001: The SBCA and the nation's
two Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) television providers, DIRECTV, Inc. and
EchoStar Communications Corp., filed suit in Federal District Court in the
Eastern District of Virginia to protect the First Amendment rights of DBS
satellite television providers, programming suppliers and current and future
satellite television subscribers all across America. Beginning
on January 1, 2002, the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) mandates
that once a satellite carrier exercises its editorial discretion to provide the
programming of any local television broadcast station within that station's
local market, the satellite carrier must, upon request, carry without
compensation the signals of every television broadcast station located within
that local market. The civil complaint filed today against the United States
government, the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Copyright Office
challenges the must carry provision (47 U.S.C. § 338) and asks that the court
find that it is unconstitutional. The DBS industry believes that the
marketplace should dictate channel carriage, not a federal mandate.
January 1, 2003: PTC Launches
January 22, 2003: FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps calls broadcast industry "A race to the bottom" in a
speech at NAPTE 2003 Family Programming Forum re: Family Hour
January 25, 2003: PTC Members
file 18,000 complaints about "Fword" airing during Golden Globes Broadcast.
February 27, 2003: The Fword
is uttered and airs unbleeped during an episode of "I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out
February 27, 2003: Brent
Bozell testifies at an FCC town hall meeting in Richmond, VA and calls on the
FCC to enforce television decency standards.
April 30, 2003 Profamily
coalition meets with several FCC commissioners (Copps, Abernathy and Martin) and
demands action on the issue of television Decency standards.
June 10, 2003 Fox airs an
episode of freshman drama Keen Eddie in which a female prostitute is hired to
perform a sex act on a horse to harvest its semen. PTC Members file 20,000
complaints with the FCC.
June 25, 2003: Brent Bozell
sends a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell regarding an episode of Fox's
July 2, 2003: Michael Copps
gives FCC a grade of "F" for failure to take strong action against indecency.
July 8, 2003: Kevin Martin
sends a letter to the PTC concerning broadcast indecency and in response to our
July 9, 2003: KQRDFM Kansas
City airs a live segment in which a male employee of the morning show stands
alongside of a rush hour jammed freeway to hand out free lottery tickets. The
man is naked, except for the tickets taped to his body.
July 14, 2003: PTC Kansas
City chapter filed a FCC indecency complaint against KQRCFM for its indecent
July 23, 2003: PTC President
Brent Bozell testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee that the FCC has
refused to do its job to enforce broadcast decency laws.
August 8, 2003: Sen. John
McCain sent Brent a letter as a response to Brent calling for stiffer broadcast
October 2, 2003: FCC fines
WWDCFM $55,000 for two instances of broadcast indecency where the host of the
morning talk program engaged in and broadcast frank sexual discussions with two
underage female callers.
October 2, 2003: FCC fines 13
Infinity affiliates $27,500 each for broadcasting an episode of "Opie and
Anthony" where two people had sex inside St. Patrick's Cathedral.
October 2, 2003: PTC calls
for better enforcement of indecency after paltry fines are levied for indecent
radio broadcasts on 13 of Infinity's affiliates during the "Opie and Anthony
Show" and Clear Channel's "Elliot in the Morning" on WWDCWashington DC
October 2, 2003: FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps sends out a press release in dissention of the FCC's
small fines against radio indecency by "Opie and Anthony" and "Elliot in the
October 3, 2003 FCC
enforcement bureau, headed by David Solomon finds that Bono's statement that
aired live and unbleeped on NBC during the Golden Globes award ceremony "This is
really, really f*ckin' brilliant" is not indecent because it was used as and
"Adjective or expletive."
October 21, 2003: Brent
Bozell calls for FCC Commission action re: fword ruling
October 27, 2003: FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps sends a letter to Brent in dissent of FCC fword
November 17, 2003: NBC
replies to PTC's appeal to Golden Globes decision
November 21, 2003: 30 U.S.
Representatives send a letter of disapproval to FCC Chairman Michael Powell for
the FCC's fword ruling and call on him to reverse the decision and sanction
broadcasters who violate decency standards.
November 21, 2003: Rep. Chip
Pickering sends a letter of disapproval to FCC Chairman Michael Powell re: FCC's
Golden Globe fword ruling and calls on him to enforce the ban on profanity on
the public airwaves.
November 25, 2003: FCC
Chairman Michael Copps sends Brent a letter stating his opinions re: FCC ruling
on Golden Globes fword.
December 5, 2003: In a speech
to the Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation, FCC Commissioner
Kevin Martin denounces FCC's Golden Globes ruling.
December 5, 2003: Kevin
Martin sends letter to Brent Bozell regarding the FCC's ruling on the Golden
Globes "fword" incident.
December 9, 2003: Sense of
the Senate resolution passed re: broadcast indecency
December 10, 2003 During the
Billboard Music Awards on Fox, Nicole Riches airs the seemingly scripted line:
"Have you ever tried to get cow sh*t out of a Prada Purse? It's not so f*ckin'
simple." The words are neither bleeped nor obscured in the East or Central
viewing zones. PTC Members file 25,000 complaints with the FCC.
December 15, 2003: Reps Doug
Ose and Lamar Smith introduce legislation making eight words (including "Fk")
and phrases indecent no matter how they're used.
December 17, 2003: FCC
Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy sends letter to Brent re: FCC's ruling on the
Golden Globes "fword"
December 19, 2003: Rep.
Pickering sends a letter to the FCC's Enforcement Bureau chief David Solomon
about the indecent language on the Billboard Music Awards, stating that he
believes the incident is a direct result of the FCC's October Golden Globes
January 14, 2004: In a speech
at the National Press Club, FCC Chairman Michael Powell expresses his interest
in reversing the enforcement bureau's ruling on the "Fword" at the Golden
Globes. Powell also asks to be able to increase fines tenfold.
January 27, 2004: FCC
announces secondever fine against a TV station for airing indecent material,
$27,500 against KRON Channel 4 in San Francisco. During an interview with
performers of the "Puppetry of the Penis," who wore capes but nothing else, one
of the actors exposed himself. The FCC said the station should have expected
that such a display could have occurred and should have taken steps to prevent
January 27, 2004: $755,000
fine against Clear Channel Communications for a sexually explicit radio show
aired on four stations, the secondhighest such fine ever proposed. The
stations all in Florida aired various episodes of "Bubba the Love Sponge" a
total of 26 times. The commission proposed fining Clear Channel the maximum
$27,500 for each time the episode ran, or $715,000.
January 28, 2004: PTC
President Brent Bozell testifies in Congressional Hearing examining the FCC's
record of enforcement with respect to Broadcast Indecency.
February 1, 2004: Janet
Jackson exposes her breast during the Super Bowl half time show to a national
audience of over 140 million including more than 16 million children.
Week of February 1, 2004:
More than 200,000 citizens file indecency complaints with the FCC about the
Super Bowl half time show.
February 2, 2004: FCC
Chairman Michael Powell announces that the FCC will launch an immediate and
thorough investigation of what happened during the half time show.