The Baltimore Ravens' profane language during their Super Bowl postgame celebration could mean trouble for CBS.
In a live moment, the television network aired an on-field exchange between Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, the Ravens quarterback, and Baltimore offensive lineman Marshal Yanda as confetti rained down inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Yanda declared, "Holy (expletive), huh?"
Flacco replied, "(Expletive) awesome!"
According to the Los Angeles Times, it's possible the Federal Communications Commission could go after CBS for fines in relation to airing the profanities. However, the newspaper reported that not every CBS station might be liable, as the FCC's "indecency rules" are in place only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The exchange between Flacco and Yanda occurred after 10 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.
CBS received a $550,000 fine from the FCC after it showed Janet Jackson's bare breast during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1, 2004. The fine was later overturned in court, and the Supreme Court refused to consider the FCC's appeal in 2012.
However, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in his ruling on that case, left open the possibility for future fines in similar cases such as Sunday's.
"It is now clear that the brevity of an indecent broadcast -- be it word or image -- cannot immunize it from F.C.C. censure," Roberts wrote while dismissing the case involving Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction."