FCC broadcast complaints up in Q4 2009


The FCC is out with its quarterly report on informal consumer inquiries and complaints. Complaints were down overall from Q3, but up for radio and television.

Total complaints to the FCC were down 14% from Q3 to 53,661 in Q4. However, complaints in the radio and TV broadcasting category were up 45% to 9,740, the Commission’s report noted. That included such areas as programming, including indecency complaints; digital TV issues; advertising and marketing; disability and access; and interference complaints.

Indecency complaints topped the tally, with 6,475 complaints.

Broadcast-related consumer inquiries were down in the quarter by 14% to 5,449. Total consumer inquiries to the FCC declined 7% to 24,496.

RBR-TVBR observation: As the FCC report notes, “The existence of a complaint does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing by the company at issue.” The Commission has issued few indecency decisions of late. Hopefully pending court cases will add some clarity to the FCC’s indecency policy.