WASHINGTON (AP) – A long-awaited report from the Federal Communications Commission lays out ways the government can regulate violence on television, including cable, satellite and broadcast.

The final report contains language on a possible requirement that cable companies sell their programming on a per-channel or family tier basis, rather than only in pre-bundled packages.

As for broadcast television, the report suggests Congress could craft a law that would let the agency regulate violent programming much like it regulates sexual content and profanity – by barring it from being aired during hours when children may be watching.

Executives in the broadcast and cable industries are concerned about how the agency would define violent programming and what would qualify for sanction.

The report also notes that technology intended to help parents shield their children from objectionable programming, such as the V-chip, is inadequate.

The commission’s leading proponents of reducing violent and indecent content on television have been Republican Chairman Kevin Martin and Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps.

The report was requested by a bipartisan group of 39 House members nearly three years ago and is well past its Jan. 1, 2005 due date.

The lawmakers asked whether the FCC could define “exceedingly violent programming that is harmful to children.” It also asked whether the agency could regulate such programming “in a constitutional manner.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.