Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Not A 'Bunch' of Complaints For Brady

It's a story of a man named Brady, who was busy reacting with profanity when things went wrong during his team's battle against the Green Bay Packers. Something his three lovely children of his own shouldn't be seeing, either.

The SmokingGun web site revealed the actual complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission resulting from CBS showing the reactions of Tom Brady of the Patriots during a frustrating loss. One can debate how times have changed and how important it is, or isn't, to keep profanity off the public airwaves. For however long, current FCC regulations prevent the networks and local stations from airing profanity, subject to heavy fines and risk of license renewal.

Many will question CBS for showing an immediate player reaction when there is a likelihood that it won't be a family friendly one. But knowing that, as the saying goes, "stuff happens", this has become more of a common occurrence on sports telecasts over the past couple of years. It is also a sign of the times that SmokingGun went ahead and printed the "f word" (which is what lip readers could clearly see Brady saying several times on TV) within its factual article.

Rather than agree or disagree, let's take a look at a very important fact based on the SmokingGun article about this (including the actual complaint documents) from December 16th, more than two weeks after the New England at Green Bay telecast on CBS (Nov. 30).

There have been a grand total of THREE complaints filed to the FCC. While I will grant you that each complaint on the grand scale supposedly represents multiple viewers, let's not forget that this telecast could very well be the most watched NFL game of the entire regular season. Three complaints is one thing if it is a local telecast on a low rated station. But three complaints from literally millions of viewers is another matter.

You don't have to review the viewer demographics from Nielsen to find out that there were a lot of children watching this game, as well as the parents. With this in mind, this really means a decided lack of opposition to the profane outburst. You can't (or shouldn't) blame Tom Brady for anything he said. He is on the football field, in the moment, and trying to win a game he is being paid a ton of money to do. He shouldn't have to worry about what he says in what he considers to be a human reaction with some degree of privacy.

As tempting as it is to blame CBS for showing this, especially on multiple occasions within the same telecast, the network is spending millions and millions of dollars to televise these games, and wants to provide millions of fans with as much of the flavor as it possibly can.

But to see only three formal complaints when millions of people were viewing? Makes The Broadcast Booth think that CBS, and other networks which televise the NFL, may not be, ummmm, screwed by any of this.

Meanwhile, this may have come as a surprise to many, but Jon Gruden will remain as the Monday Night Football analyst for ESPN based on his just announced contract extension which now runs through 2021. Gruden even discussed the extension during the halftime segment of Monday's (12/15) telecast of the New Orleans at Chicago game. Many observers noticed how outspoken Gruden was about the problems the Chicago Bears have been having in the past few games and his criticism of QB Jay Cutler among others. Even in today's market, those were some strong team oriented opinions coming from a "national" analyst.

Gruden has become a "love him or hate him" analyst and has his detractors, while others anticipated him returning to coaching at either the NFL or NCAA level within the next two seasons.

CHICAGO: Dave Juday, who has been on the air as an anchor/reporter at WMVP ESPN 1000 since 1996, is no longer with the station on a full-time basis. However, he will be heard on the station a few more times, as his play-by-play for the University of Illinois Chicago basketball will continue to air on WMVP through this current season. In addition, Juday continues to host the "Jack Swarbrick Radio Show" with the Notre Dame Athletic Director (until late March, as previously scheduled), which airs in Chicago on WLS-AM.

SCRANTON: Now we'll get the chance to compare ratings of off-the-air vs. CBS Sports Radio to see which would be more successful. WARM 590, which was literally off the air for a short time after having been an oldies station for years, has received FCC permission to broadcast with a reduced signal. Their decision is to air CBS Sports Radio, even though the market already has three other sports stations already on the air.

Finally, for those who asked since the initial posting, here is the link to the Tom Brady complaints:


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