|The Federal Communications Commission has levied a $10,000 fine against the crew of NBC's "Law & Order" -- but the penalty has nothing to do with salty language or grisly shots of dead bodies.|
In fact, it has nothing to do with what appears on TV screens at all. The fine comes as a result of crew members' walkie-talkies interfering with New York City's public-safety radio pool, according to Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
It seems that some crew members were using high-powered walkie-talkies, which come under the heading of "portable radio transceivers," to communicate while on the show's Manhattan set. The devices caused interference on the public-safety radio frequency, according to a complaint filed in March.
Broadcasting radio transmissions without a license is a punishable offense under FCC regulations, but it's usually reserved for pirate-radio operators. NBC says the "L&O" staffers didn't know they needed a license to use their walkie-talkies and weren't told as much by the vendor who sold the equipment.
NBC Universal TV, which produces the "Law & Order" shows, says in a statement that it "takes seriously its obligations to comply with FCC requirements" but doesn't agree with the fine. The studio says it will review its options on the case.