In a story that I've never quite seen anything like before, a Scottish Premiership match was delayed several hours from airing on television because fans in the crowd were swearing too loudly. The game between St. Mirren and Ross County was supposed to be aired on tape delay by BBC Alba in Scotland at 5:30 PM, directly after the game had finished.
However, the game didn't air until 11 PM in the evening because the channel had to edit out audible curse words from the Ross County crowd at Global Energy Stadium. It seems the 3,000 fans in attendance were so boisterous and colorful with their language that it took several hours to edit out of the broadcast. Why did BBC Alba have to be so careful to remove foul langugae from their broadcast? Ofcom standards in the UK (think our FCC) dictate that shows can't carry offensive language. Via the UK Independent, the station released the following statement…
“In compliance with the rules set by Ofcom, where no programme that carries offensive language can be broadcast pre-watershed, BBC Alba had no choice but to defer broadcast of today's Ross County v St Mirren match until post-watershed due to bad language picked up from the crowds.”
Given the reputation of soccer fans, and particularly British soccer fans, I'm surprised this isn't an every day occurrance! The fact that it took several hours to go through the language is the best part of this story. I'm sure there were some curse words in the lot that hadn't even been invented yet. Can you imagine if broadcast rules were this strict in the US? I'm not sure a televised sporting event would be able to air on network television.
Oh, and by the way in case you were wondering… Ross County defeated St. Mirren 2-1.