Digital radio station TeamRock Radio has been ruled to be in breach of the Ofcom broadcast code after airing a song featuring the F-word during its breakfast show.
The regulator received a complaint about the offensive language in Rancid’s song Back Where I Belong, which was broadcast at around 7.52am on Monday 16th March 2015. The track contains the lyrics “…and it’s all the fucking same.”
When asked for an explanation by Ofcom, TeamRock acknowledged that it was unacceptable and apologised unreservedly for the error. It said that the song in question in this particular case evaded its ‘strict checking regime’.
The station went on to say that half of the 2,100 songs on its regular playlist ‘did not come with radio edits’, and that the percentage is even higher in the library of 26,000 songs it has available for airing during specialist output. TeamRock said that its procedure is such that songs where the lyrics have been checked as suitable for broadcast during daytime are put into a specific category on the playout system. It admitted that in this case “the offensive language was not edited out because of human error.”
In its decision to uphold the complaint, Ofcom said: “The word ‘fucking’ was broadcast during the school run at 07:52 on a Monday during term-time. The most offensive language was therefore broadcast at a time when children were particularly likely to be listening. This was a clear breach of Rule 1.14 (of the Broadcast Code).”
TeamRock announced last month that it was leaving the Digital 1 national multiplex after two years but will continue to broadcast online.
In this week’s Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, the regulator also announces that it has now resolved a complaint from last November regarding BBC Radio Norfolk’s Nick Conrad and his comments about rape following the case of footballer Ched Evans. It has also upheld in part a long-running complaint against digital station Radio Yorkshire made by the former chairman of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, Gary Cooper. Read both decisions in full in the Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin.