FCC Considers Full Probe Into Super Bowl Incident

Feb 6, 2009 6:00 AM PST
TUCSON, Ariz. — The controversy over the 30-second porn interruption during the Super Bowl continues to expand, with the federal government threatening to get involved.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering a full investigation into the incident, which put adult performers Evan Stone and Tristan Kingsley center stage during a pivotal moment in the game's fourth quarter. The interruption only happened in certain parts of Arizona.

"We have received multiple complaints," said FCC spokesman David Fiske, noting that the complaints came from viewers, as well as the conservative Parents Television Council. According to online reports and the FCC's own policy, the FCC's next step is to acquire more information from both the complaining and the offending parties.

In this case, the offending party is unknown, with only cable and Internet provider Comcast pursuing any kind of formal investigation.

Dan Isett, public policy director for the Parents Television Council, said that because a cable provider broadcast the adult content, the case is probably above the FCC's pay grade.

"This is a case of someone deliberately putting obscenity on a cable network, and because it aired over a cable station, the FCC doesn't have jurisdiction," Isett said. "They can only fine broadcasters for material like that. However, there are some that think this may be cause for an obscenity prosecution which is different from broadcast indecency which would require bringing in the Justice Department."

As for the performers, Kingsley said that she's delighted at the free exposure and may try to make a spoof movie about the Super Bowl.

"Initially, I was shocked when I found out, then very excited," she said. "Realizing thousands of people got to see me makes me happy. The increased recognition is also a bonus, as is the publicity, which should lead to more work."

Stone quipped that he had "planned the whole thing."

Meanwhile, adult studio Pink Visual is following Comcast's lead in trying to give back to the Arizona-area customers affected by the foul-up. Comcast is offering its customers a $10 credit, while Pink Visual is offering Arizonans $10 off subscriptions to its network of sites.

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