The FCC released inquiry and complaint statistics for the first two quarters of 2008 simultaneously back at the beginning of the year, and now it’s dropped the last two quarters simultaneously to finish off the year. Indecent broadcast was the number one complaint, but the numbers are modest. Not surprisingly, DTV inquiries were up.
Q1 was the quarter to beat, apparently thanks in part to actress Diane Keaton, who dropped an f-bomb during an edition of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” 122.1K complaints found their way to the FCC during the quarter.
The next three quarters had only modest activity on the indecency front, pulling 25.1K, 37.5K and 36.7K complaints respectively.
On the citizen inquiry front, the numbers were accelerating during the second half of 2008, almost entirely due to the DTV conversion. The FCC fielded 61.4K questions on that topic during Q3 and 180.9K during Q4.
RBR/TVBR observation: In the era of click and send complaining, it is no problem at all to get 100K or even 1M complaints flooding into the Commission for a broadcast incident that seems particularly egregious to a segment of society. Only one quarter of 2008 pulled in over 100K, and no other got as far as 40K. Broadcasters are not generally working blue.