$1.2M FCC Lawsuit Against Fox TV Was Based on Three Complaints

Back story: www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=55950

from Wikipedia – Married by America was a reality television program hosted by Los Angeles DJ Sean Valentine that aired in the United States on Fox in the spring of 2003. It was produced by the production company Rocket Science Laboratories (Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island).

Five single people agreed to be paired up sight unseen with strangers chosen by America. The five newly-minted couples met and got engaged on the spot. This was accomplished through family members and phone-in votes by TV viewers.

Next, the five couples were sequestered at Copper North Ranch for an engagement period. Relationship Experts (Dr. Jenn Bermann, Dr. Don Elium and Ms. P.) eliminated one couple per week, and the final two couples could decide whether or not they wanted to wed.

In the end, neither of the couples (Jill Nicolini and Kevin, Billie Jean Houle and Tony)opted to get married.

A Fox affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, WRAZ aired the premier episode but then refused to broadcast the remainder of the series claiming that it “demeans and exploits the institution of marriage.”

Over a year after the show’s cancellation, the FCC fined Fox a record $1.2 million due to an episode which featured pixelated strippers and a woman licking whipped cream off a man’s nipple during a bachelor party.

The ruling underwent great scrutiny when blogger Jeff Jarvis uncovered that although the FCC originally claimed to have received 159 complaints, it later admitted to only receiving 90, which came from only 23 people.

Jarvis studied the complaints and determined that all but two were virtually identical to each other, meaning that the $1.2 million judgment was based on original complaints written by a total of only three people. Armed with the new information, Fox vowed to fight the fine.

The fine was ultimately reduced to $91,000 in January 2009.

Today it was announced that the lawsuit was being dropped entirely.

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