The Super Bowl may bring CBS super headaches

A winning quarterback's salty language and a prolonged blackout spoil the Tiffany network's big day.

By Jonathan Berr Feb 4, 2013 3:02PM
A general view of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after a sudden power outage that lasted 34 minutes in the second half of Super Bowl XLVII ( Al Bello/Getty Images)Last night's Super Bowl was one of the most exciting NFL championships in years. But executives at CBS (CBS), which broadcast the big game, may not feel much like celebrating.

The Parents Television Council, a conservative media watchdog group, has called on the Federal Communications Commission to take action against the network for airing Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's unedited moment of profanity shortly after his team's triumphant victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

The FCC doesn't take action on indecent material aired between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time since children are less likely to have seen it. Flacco's expletive, however, was heard before that window began in some parts of the country.

"The incident was after 10 p.m. on the East Coast, so there is no possible liability for the Eastern time zone," telecom attorney Andy Schwartzman tells MSN Money. "As to the other time zones, the situation is very unclear. . . so I doubt the FCC would try to press the issue."

CBS declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the FCC. The parents' council argues that CBS could have easily avoided the problem.

"It should come as no surprise that celebrating football players would use profane language," said the PTC's Dan Isett in an interview. That raises the question of why CBS didn't use a tape delay as it did in earlier parts of its broadcast, he added.

The networks have promised for years to take steps to prevent incidents such as Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" from happening again, but have failed to do so, he said.

CBS's other headache was the 35-minute stoppage in play Sunday caused by a power outage at the Superdome in New Orleans. The network basically stopped running commercials during that time. It did honor its commitment to advertisers, who shelled out an average of $3.8 million for a 30-second spot.

As Ad Age noted, some advertisers used the blackout to their advantage. Also, the audience stuck around because the game got a lot more interesting as the 49ers nearly staged an epic comeback. Preliminary Nielsen data released last night by CBS showed the game set a ratings record, according to the Washington Post.

--Jonathan Berr has a small position in CBS. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Feb 5, 2013 9:22AM
I actually didn't hear what was said and only read the stupid comments from the FCC.  I was more offended by the half time show.   It's really sad.  Beyonce is a very talentent young lady with a beautiful voice.  But none of that showed up in her half time act.  She seemed to be shouting into the mic.  So sad.  And Go Daddy was totally disgusting. 
Feb 4, 2013 8:58PM

I'm sure pretty much alot of kids have heard that before..seriously????...omg I tell my 11yr old if you hear someone say , even me, it doesn't make it right, so don't start saying it..end of story..but I am sure some parent will come & say omg my child was tramatized! get over it people!!!...I see other bothersome things on the disney channel!!..never mind a darn curse word...

Feb 4, 2013 8:43PM
The half time show was a embarresment to our nation as a whole where is the decency for family entertainment during of all things a superbowl.  As stated elsewhere only thing missing was a pole.
Feb 4, 2013 8:41PM
We've got Charter Cable.  Had it for 15 years.  Always paid-up and NEVER late!  How did they reward me?  By putting a big black box on my screen so I could not watch the game.  Thanks Charter!
Feb 4, 2013 8:17PM
very poor unimagitive commercials even the best ones in past years would have been also rans
Feb 4, 2013 8:15PM
baaaad show just some glitzy burlesque with no dollars
Feb 4, 2013 7:55PM
The PTC can blow it out their lower, rear orifices.
Feb 4, 2013 7:19PM
Feb 4, 2013 7:09PM
I would kike somebody to get on the show and offend everbody. Get real PTC!
Feb 4, 2013 7:03PM
but they weren't offended that their child watched Beyonce roll around on the floor like a pig in heat?  Somehow, I think their values are screwup up.
Feb 4, 2013 6:56PM
Was it bad? probably. Were many of you offended? Probably not. Have you heard it before? Surely. Kids heard it and laughed. You know why? They have heard it before, maybe at school, school yard, friends home, relatives home or many other places they have contact. Do we shelter our kids too much? Probably. Should we? Probably not. Life is what it is!!! The good, the bad and the ugly. The only way we know the difference is to experience it all.
Feb 4, 2013 6:51PM
Really, another reason why I thank God we do not live forever. When will the stupidy end? About 5 seconds after I take my last breath.
Feb 4, 2013 5:55PM

When I was growing up, I heard the f-bomb dropped by my parents for more often than I did on TV.

I think it only took me USING the f-bomb once to learn that there's a time and a place for it, and the dinner table is not that place.

Feb 4, 2013 5:42PM
I was happy for Joe Flacco and his entire team.  It's true, if you're afraid of a "bad word" coming from a football team....then relax!   I was FAR MORE offended by the Go Daddy commercial aired right in the middle of the game/family hour, than Joe's innocent elation !    Congratulations to both teams for holding up against all power-outage odds.    I won all my bets for Baltimore.....and that was ( awesome !!!!
Feb 4, 2013 5:38PM
My kids heard it clear as a bell and laughed. I wasn't finding it funny.
Feb 4, 2013 5:36PM
wonder if the Super Dome not being fit to live in is one of the problems. Seems to be a BIG BITCH with some of dim hoes what had someplace to go when dey lost dire box under the bridge when da big 'cane blowed in
Feb 4, 2013 5:33PM
I thought the FCC had already cleared up the "excited utterance" exception?
Feb 4, 2013 5:32PM
all this over nothing but a waste of time and money! but hey, that's what this country is all about!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 4, 2013 5:32PM
Hell-------- Biden dropped the F bomb talking to Obama on air, Since he is an idiot he got a pass on that.
Feb 4, 2013 5:32PM

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's suffers from to many hits to the brain cell.  His mouth runneth his brain cell dead.  However, CBS was totally crappy in their coverage, especially the audio throughout the entire broadcast. 


I vote 10 thumbs up for the Audi, Budweiser and especially the farmers commercials.  Great lesson in all of them; know what you want, be willing to pay the price and be true to yourself and your family.. never compromise.

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