ABC appeals $1.4 mil 'Blue' fine

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ABC and the ABC Affiliate Assn. filed appeals Monday to the FCC's proposed fine of $1.4 million for a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue."

The FCC is looking to fine the 52 ABC-owned and affiliate stations in the Central Mountain zones, which broadcast the episode, featuring a woman's buttocks and the side of one breast, before 10 p.m.

"ABC strongly opposed the proposed fine, noting that when the brief scene in question was telecast almost five years ago, this critically acclaimed drama had been on the air for a decade and the realistic nature of its story lines were well known to the viewing public, and arguing that the FCC's action was inconsistent with the commission's own indecency standards, procedural requirements, and prior decisions; with the indecency statute; and with the First Amendment," ABC said Monday.

The ABC Affiliates Assn.'s response was filed on behalf of the 50 nonowned ABC affiliates targeted by FCC's proposal.

"ABC affiliates believe that the process and procedures employed by the commission in the handling of this matter were deeply flawed and violate well-settled legal standards," said Ray Cole , the association's chairman of the board of governors.
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