Mass Media Bureau

The Mass Media Bureau (MMB) regulates the television and radio stations in the United States. The Bureau issues broadcast licenses specifying the community of license, the channel and operating power of the station. The conditions of the license ensure that the broadcast will be picked up without interference. If problems arise, the Bureau investigates and resolves the problems. MMB can fine a station or take its license if it finds that a broadcaster is violating FCC rules. FCC rules generally do not govern the selection of programming that is broadcast. The main exceptions are that broadcasters may not broadcast obscene programming; they may broadcast indecent programming only when there is a strong probability that no children are in the audience.

Indecent or Obscene Broadcasts

Callers reporting indecent or obscene material on broadcast radio are encouraged to file a written complaint with the Mass Media Bureau. Information about the law and instructions for filing a complaint are available via mail, fax, or email. Ask for MMB Bulletin on FCC Enforcement of Prohibition Against Obscene and Indecent Broadcasts.