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Opening up TV opportunities to internet companies...

The US TV censor proposes that Internet TV companies should be able to include broadcast TV channels

Link Here23rd December 2014
US TV censors of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have proposed to change their rules so as to treat internet TV companies the same as cable and satellite TV providers.

At the moment media companies are not required to offer their programming to Internet TV companies.  On the other hand rules requiring traditional cable and satellite TV to carry certain content, like broadcast TV, do not apply to internet TV companies.

Currently consumers without cable or satellite have been unable to get the same breadth of content from Internet-based TV services that they could get from a paid TV provider or in some cases over-the-air TV broadcasters.

It's this difference in regulatory classification that allowed network TV broadcasters, such as CBS, which owns CNET, to deny Aereo access to their programming, even after it offered to pay retransmission fees. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court said that it was illegal for Aereo to retransmit broadcast TV over the Internet without paying broadcasters a retransmission fee.

Even though he didn't name Aereo outright, FFC head Tom Wheeler said that the existing rules are ultimately hurting consumers who are being denied access to content on alternative platforms. Wheele said in a statement:

Big company control over access to programming should not keep programs from being available on the Internet. Today, we propose to break that bottleneck.

Efforts by new entrants to develop new video services have faltered because they could not get access to programming content that was owned by cable networks or broadcasters.



Washington Thinskins...

Professor of PC fails to convince the US TV censors to ban the name of the football team, the Redskins

Link Here22nd December 2014
Washington's football team can relax as, TV and radio stations can now say its name without fearing government PC censorship.

US TV censors of the Federal Communications Commission have rejected a petition that claimed the name Redskins violates broadcast indecency rules.

The author of the petition, George Washington law professor John Banzhaf III, claimed that the derogatory racial and ethnic slur is deeply offensive to American Indians. The word amounts to obscenity and profanity, which the FCC bans from the airwaves, Banzhaf said.

But in its ruling, the FCC's Media Bureau noted that it has traditionally banned only words that are sexual or excretory in nature. The agency also warned that banning the name could violate the free-speech rights of TV and radio stations.

Banzhaf's petition had asked the commission to reject the license renewal of WWXX-FM, a radio station owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that had repeatedly said the team's name on the air. Instead, the FCC renewed the license, saying it found no serious violations.

Banzhaf said he plans to appeal the decision to the full commission and, if necessary, to the federal courts.



Oft Offended Opportunists...

US TV censor isn't supporting the call for a ban of the word 'Redskins' referring to the Washington DC football

Link Here20th November 2014
Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a speech at an awards event that he disagrees with recent efforts to ban broadcasters from using the word Redskins when referring to the Washington, D.C. NFL team. He said:

If the FCC took these steps, we would be squelching public debate about an issue of public concern. We would be standing in the way of media outlets reporting the news. And we would be prohibiting speech simply because we disagree with the viewpoint that is being expressed.

Pai went on to say public officials shouldn't sound an uncertain trumpet when oft-offended opportunists urge us to undermine the First Amendment. He said he thinks the FCC should heed the words of Voltaire:

I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it, adding. Anyone who takes seriously the Constitution--scholar or layman--knows the petition is meritless. The FCC should dismiss it tout suite, as Voltaire might have said.



Unbleeped Pussy...

US TV now allows the use of the word 'pussy' as long as it is in a politically correct context

Link Here12th November 2014
Amy Schumer has revolutionized US television, and most people didn't even notice. Comedy Central approved the use of the word pussy on the network. The seemingly casual announcement of the un-bleep is actually a huge, huge victory.

However the 'victory' appears to have been won simply because Schumer is on the right side of the politically correct divide. She uses the word appropriately unlike the great unwashed. explains:

Inside Amy Schumer aggressively attacks several women's issues, from body-shaming to sexual assault in the military, so it's important to be able to use such language. Much of the language banned by the FCC is engendered, so not only is it a victory for Comedy Central but for the (hopefully) eventual equality for language on television. (Bear with me, because this post is gonna get profane).

iAccording to the FCC, most of the language deemed obscene and inappropriate for television are lewd and sexual in context: It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours.

On the list of prohibitions, besides pussy are several synonyms for a woman's vagina. You CAN say vagina on television, however. Though dick used to be on the list, it's now allowed on network television. Some of the milder euphemisms are still banned, such as snatch, pink , twat, and clit. Though cock is also on the no-no list, there are way more words referring the female anatomy that are not allowed to be uttered without a bleep, then those referring to a man's. then takes time to explain a few of the basics of political correctness:

Language is so important and powerful, and now especially, what can and cannot be said on television and web-produced shows is becoming more influential on common vernacular. Even though Comedy Central airs such subversive shows like Inside Amy Schumer, Key and Peele, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, they still have to align to certain guidelines. And because the list of banned words contains so many alternatives for the word vagina, it creates and maintains the stigma and demonization related to a woman's body.

That's why serious attention should be paid Schumer's very funny show; she's subverting boundaries and slowly revolutionizing the language. The more artists and comedians like Schumer can change the conversation that makes the language of female sexuality as neutral as the language about men's sexuality, the better. Hopefully more networks will follow suit.



Power Grab...

The US TV censor, FCC, seeks to extend remit to Internet TV

Link Here2nd November 2014
On October 28, 2014, in an announcement posted on the Official FCC Blog , FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a proposal that Internet TV should come under the censorship regime of cable TV :

Today I am proposing to extend the same concept to the providers of linear, Internet-based services; to encourage new video alternatives by opening up access to content previously locked on cable channels. What could these over-the-top video providers (OTTs) supply to consumers? Many different kinds of multichannel video packages designed for different tastes and preferences. A better ability for a consumer to order the channels he or she wants to watch.

Specifically,  Wheeler proposes extending certain MVPD (cable TV provider) program access rules to Internet TV services to prevent, in his words, vertically integrated networks (i.e., cable companies that also own video content) from rais[ing] artificial barriers to competition by refusing to let their video competitors have access to the programming they own.

Notably, the proposed new rule would apply only to providers that offer linear streams of programming, and not to video-on-demand services like Netflix or Hulu.

The MVPD proposal has garnered a lot of attention from the media and for good reason. However, Wheeler's official proposal has not yet been fully released to the public, leaving a number of questions unanswered.



Garbage Whinges...

US TV censor to investigate Miley Cyrus show that received 3 complaints

Link Here10th August 2014
Although there were only three complaints from the more than two million viewers, the US TV censor is determining if the Miley Cyrus Fourth of July Weekend Special violated its censorship rules.

The special was shot while the tour was in Barcelona and Lisbon earlier this year. Onstage, Cyrus' outfit consisted of a skintight unitard with a hood. She also did a sexy dance with a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln, which was the subject of one of the complaints:

She was dressed more in line with a video geared towards MTV. Her performance was impropriate [sic] for broadcast TV, as she grinded along there was a costumed performer depicting President Lincoln following behind her and alongside her and the character acted quite lecherous even patting her on the backside. Very patriotic for the 4th ya think?

A parent wrote to complain about the PG-13/TV-14 rating, which he said allowed the show to bypass his TV filter. He spouted:

I am offended, appalled and ready to start taking public action to remove this garbage from our televisions.



Extract: Recommending 2 Broke Girls...

Revealing some of the whinges to the US TV censor

Link Here4th January 2014
The US TV show, 2 Broke Girls, is known for its bawdy comedy; it has plenty of sex jokes and racial stereotypes worked into episodes, and those jokes aren't sitting that well with a handful of easily offended viewers.

According to, 91 viewer complaints regarding the popular CBS sitcom have been filed with the Federal Communications Commission over the last two years.

Complaints have included instances of vulgar language and inappropriate sexual references, charges of the show being soft porn and overuse of the word vagina.

From constant comments about sexual positions and ejaculation in every orifice to menstrual cycles in much more vulgar terms...Two Broke Girls is unrelenting, wrote one viewer from Texas, adding that while he found many CBS shows funny, the network should be more responsible about what it airs. I don't know when TV censorship died in this country but we need it back.

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