CBS Defends Its Broadcast of Post-Super Bowl Expletives

Feb 6, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A top CBS executive is defending the network’s handling of the Super Bowl post-game celebration, during which a couple of players for the victorious Baltimore Ravens could be heard dropping what is generally described as “fleeting expletives.”

Specifically, Ravens lineman Marshal Yanda asked quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, “Holy s–t, huh?” to which Flacco responded, “F—ing awesome,” Yahoo! TV reports.

Martin Franks, the network’s executive vice president of planning, policy and government affairs, tells the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog that CBS has not heard an outcry about the incident.

"We’ve gotten a handful of complaints [but] there are more people asking questions about the blackout," Franks said.

The only way CBS could have sidestepped airing the expletives would have been to put the entire game on a tape delay, which wouldn’t have served the millions of viewers who wanted to see the game live, he said.

"One hundred and fifteen million people should not have to wait 30 seconds for the results of one the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history," Franks said. He gave the number of people who were watching the game at the moment when Flacco swore, just 85 seconds after the game had ended and the network hadn’t jumped to a commercial break.

An ad break is required to switch to delay mode, the piece notes.

"You can only take this protection so far before you compromise what the audience really wants, which is a sense that they are there," Franks noted.

The Yahoo report notes: “The Parents Television Council is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to fine the network. ‘The FCC must step up to its legal obligation to enforce the law, or families will continue to be blindsided,’ said PTC president Tim Winter.”

The piece also notes that the FCC’s indecency rules apply from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the swearing took place just after 10 p.m. in the eastern time zone. That means only stations in other time zones would face possible fines if the FCC were to pursue the complaints.


  1. The network should have known this could happen in such a charged and live environment. ANYTHING could have been said (and it was!). There should have been a delay so these expletives could have been deleted. On the other hand, the players should know they are on national TV, but can you really blame them for expressing their emotions?

  2. Or maybe as a society we should finally realize that a swear word or two (or a flash of a boob) is not going to scar a child for life, and worry about more important things.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)