Fox headed to court to overturn indecency fines

Fri Apr 4, 2008 7:49pm EDT
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By Peter Kaplan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fox Broadcasting said on Friday that it would go to court to try to overturn indecency fines imposed on 13 Fox television stations after regulators declined to reconsider the fines.

The News Corp's Fox Broadcasting said it would go to court to appeal the fines after the Federal Communications Commission declined a petition for reconsideration and the Department of Justice filed suit to collect the fines.

The fines were aimed at penalizing stations for airing episodes of the reality TV show "Married by America" in 2003.

"We look forward to the opportunity to present the full factual and legal arguments in the Married by America case to an impartial and open court of law," Fox said in a statement.

The FCC said it had returned the Fox petition without consideration because the company had exceeded the number of allowable pages in its petition without asking for permission far enough in advance to exceed the page limit.

A spokesman for Fox said the U.S. Justice Department had then filed suit in four jurisdictions around the United States to collect the fines.

In its March 24 petition, Fox asked the FCC to review the penalties it imposed on 13 Fox stations by the agency on February 22.

The FCC voted to issue $7,000 fines to each of the stations to penalize them for broadcasting an April 7, 2003, episode of "Married By America" that featured "persistent sexual activities" from Las Vegas bachelor and bachelorette parties.   Continued...