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Press Release


January 9, 2012


PTC Urges Supreme Court to Halt TV Networks’ Attempt to Obliterate Indecency Law


LOS ANGELES (January 9, 2012) – Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a landmark television decency case involving the major TV networks. The Parents Television Council® has been involved in the litigation from the start and is arguing that broadcast television will become the new Cinemax or HBO, unless the High Court upholds the decency law.

“The broadcast television networks would not be waging a decades-long legal battle to secure the right for something they don’t intend to do. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the networks, the American people are going to get a rude awakening when broadcast TV becomes indistinguishable from Cinemax, HBO or something even more explicit. Children, parents, families and indeed all Americans deserve better use of the airwaves that they own,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Radio and television broadcasters already have the ability to be as indecent as they want after 10 p.m. The creative community has unlimited access to distribute even the most edgy content across other forms of media. But now the networks are demanding that they be given the benefits of the free use of the publicly-owned airwaves without the longstanding public interest obligations that come with a broadcast license.

“If you play this out beyond contemporary community standards, an overturning of broadcast decency opens the door for the airing of hardcore pornography at any time of the day – even when children are in the audience – so long as the marketplace will support it. How does that serve the public interest?

“The issue of broadcast decency is of paramount importance to the American people. The 1,471,912 outstanding complaints dwarf every other communication the public has with the Federal Communications Commission combined. Parents and families have done everything they can to get policymakers’ attention, but they continue to be thwarted by the legal maneuverings of billion-dollar broadcast corporations.

“Decency rules have existed since the dawn of broadcast media. The broadcast airwaves are still uniquely pervasive. We urge the High Court to look past the TV networks’ smokescreen and side with the public. If the networks get the ‘rights’ they are fighting for, the harshest profanity and explicit sexual material will be legal on the publicly-owned airwaves when we know millions of kids are watching,” Winter concluded.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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