Silently Deleting Profanity From The Airwaves

from the there-goes-the-beep dept

Three years ago, a TV station in Pittsburgh got in trouble for using a technology to secretly cut out seconds from a football game in order to squeeze in extra commercials. They were using some technology that could squeeze out seconds here and there from the broadcast to compress the overall time needed to actually broadcast the game. Now, with the rise of the “crackdown” on broadcast profanity, radio stations are looking to use similar equipment to secretly block out profanity. The system lets radio broadcasters send out their signal with a regular time delay, as most stations already do. Rather than just bleeping out profanity, however, the system is designed to make it simply disappear and compress the show so that no listeners even know it’s happening. Each time this happens, of course, the amount of delay decreases – so the box systematically adds back in additional seconds, sneaking in extra pauses that didn’t really happen. Of course, as the article points out, most boxes are designed with a 20 second delay, which does no good if someone curses continuously for 20 seconds. Howard Stern, for instance, needs to string together a few of these boxes to make them work on his show.

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