The halftime show went off without an indecency incident, but in the moments after the Super Bowl ended Sunday night, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco — the game’s MVP — dropped a few swear words that were picked up by microphones and could be “heard quite clearly by viewers at home,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
Among his comments, he reportedly described winning the Super Bowl as "f—ing awesome."
That might be a problem for CBS, the story says. "Flacco’s enthusiasm would probably be classified as a fleeting expletive. The Federal Communications Commission in the past has gone after networks for similar incidents," the story notes.
"Typically, the FCC does not issue a fine without complaints from viewers. Not every CBS station that carried the game would be on the hook. Flacco’s swearing took place after 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The FCC’s so-called indecency rules run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m," the story notes.
CBS used delays during pregame, halftime and postgame coverage, but the immediate postgame celebration was a part of the game coverage and was carried live without a delay, the piece points out.
FCC efforts to enforce indecency rules in similar incidents have run into legal hurdles recently. “Last year, the Supreme Court tossed an FCC fine of Fox for swearing by Cher and Nicole Richie that made it on the air during awards shows,” the report notes. “However, the court’s ruling does not stop the FCC from continuing to pursue fines for fleeting expletives.”