We’ve been hearing for some time now all about what a cesspool that broadcasting has become in terms of content, the product of the ongoing race to the bottom, which broadcasters have taken to court so the race can be even racier. But if it’s a problem, very few seem to be telling the FCC about it.
The total number of broadcast complaints in Q4 2010 was 3,116. The FCC just released numbers for Q1 and Q1 2011, and the numbers have been going down, dropping 4% to 2,977 in Q1 and another 27% to 2,164 in Q2.
Cable complaints also went down during the same period, by 4% and 15% respectively.
Wireless and wireline services didn’t fare nearly as well. They were up Q1 2011 over Q4 2010 by 30% and 31% respectively, but managed modest decreases of 4% and 1% Q1 to Q2. Do not call problems are a major contributor to the complaint load for wireline.
On the indecency front, broadcast was never high to begin with and decreased steadily, going from 1,272 to 829 to 617.
Here is the broadcast complaint chart from Q4 2010:
Here is the broadcast complaint chart from Q1 2011:
Here is the broadcast complaint chart from Q2 2011:
RBR-TVBR observation: The biggest month for indecency complaints in the three quarters we looked at was 528. Now compare that to oh, let’s say (very conservatively) 10,000 stations on air 24/7, or 240,000 air hours a day, which translates to 7,200,000 hours a month. The number of complaints per broadcast hour isn’t exactly overwhelming. In the month with 528 complaints, it means that there were 7,199,472 hours of complaint-free programming! How about that, Supreme Court?