Beyonce kept her top on during the halftime show but Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s excitement over winning the Super Bowl included dropping some swear words on national TV.
At the end of a long game that included a power outage that stopped play for about 30 minutes, a happy Flacco screamed some expletives. He was close enough to some microphones to be heard quite clearly by viewers at home.
Flacco’s enthusiasm would probably be classified as a fleeting expletive. The Federal Communications Commission in the past has gone after networks for similar incidents.
The FCC hasn’t been successful in those efforts. Last year, the Supreme Court tossed an FCC fine of Fox for swearing by Cher and Nicole Richie that made it on the air during awards shows. However, the court’s ruling does not stop the FCC from continuing to pursue fines for fleeting expletives.
Typically, the FCC does not issue a fine without complaints from viewers. Not every CBS station that carried the game would be on the hook. Flacco’s swearing took place after 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The FCC’s so-called indecency rules run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
While CBS put delays on the pre-game, halftime and post-game portions of its broadcast, Flacco’s celebration came at the end of the game coverage, which is live.
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