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                                           In Reply Refer to:

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
8929 Hollywood Hills Road
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Dear Ms. Reeves-Stevens and Mr. Reeves-Stevens:

     By this letter  we close our  investigation into an  alleged 
violation  of  the  Commission's   policy  against  the  use   of 
subliminal perception techniques in broadcasting by KTTV(TV), Los 
Angeles, CA and DirecTV.

       Your complaint alleged that KTTV(TV) may have broadcast  a 
subliminal text message during an  episode of The X-Files,  which 
aired on KTTV(TV) between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., Pacific time, 
on Sunday, November  5, 2000. Specifically,  you stated that  the 
allegedly  subliminal  message  appeared   between  a  group   of 
commercials and the resumption of an episode of The X-Files.  The 
message read:  ``Why does Al Gore  say one thing if the truth  is 
another?''  You provided a tape of the episode in question, which 
you stated that  you received  and recorded  from your  satellite 
service, DirecTV,  Inc.   The text  of  the message  in  question 
appears approximately 48 minutes, 30 seconds into this tape.   We 
sent letters  of inquiry  to  KTTV(TV) and  DirecTV, as  well  as 
copies of the tape that you  submitted and copies of a  frame-by-
frame rendering of your tape, produced by the Commission's staff.   
Fox Broadcasting,  Inc.  (``Fox''),  licensee  of  KTTV(TV),  and 
DirecTV have  responded to  our inquiry.   We provided  you  with 
copies of these responses, in  order to give you the  opportunity 
to comment on  them.  However,  you did not  file any  additional 
     The Commission's Public Notice, Concerning the Broadcast of 
Information by Means of ``Subliminal Perception'' Techniques, 44 
FCC 2d 1016, 1017 (1974) states:

     We believe that use of subliminal perception is inconsistent 
with the
     obligations of a licensee, and therefore we take this 
occasion to make clear
     that broadcasts employing such techniques are contrary to 
the public interest.
     Whether effective or not, such broadcasts clearly are 
intended to be deceptive.

Fox's response states that the text message in question was part 
of a commercial announcement sponsored by Victory 2000 California 
Republican Party.  Fox explains that due to an unintentional 
malfunction of KTTV(TV)'s computerized program automation system, 
this text aired in isolation, without the rest of the commercial 
announcement of which it was part.  Fox further states and 
demonstrates that the commercial in its entirety aired 
approximately twenty-two minutes later. We accept Fox's 
explanation that this text message was broadcast as a result of 
the inadvertent malfunction of KTTV(TV)'s automated system.  
Moreover, based on the responses from Fox and DirecTV, we find 
that DirecTV retransmitted KTTV(TV)'s signal, including the 
miscued text message, as it had been received from Fox.  

     Fox has offered specific information concerning the 
malfunction in its automated system.  In this regard, Fox 
explains that KTTV uses a fully automated system to switch from 
one program source to another during the course of its broadcast 
day.  Part of this system includes the Profile, which is a file 
server that plays back nonprogram material contained in 
KTTV(TV)'s program breaks, including commercials, public service 
announcements, newsbreaks, etc.  According to Fox, the Profile is 
part of the automated system, and cannot be manually controlled.  

     Fox also explains that after a program break, the Profile 
cues up nonprogram material for the next break instantly.  Fox 
asserts that ``on rare occasions,'' the Profile has not cued 
precisely, which results in the cueing of a few frames of 
material that is scheduled to air in the next break.  Fox asserts 
that on most televisions, this miscued material is generally 
invisible, but that it may be observed in a frame-by-frame 
analysis, and may be more readily noticeable when a record and 
replay apparatus, such a TiVo system, is used.

     Thus, Fox states that on November 5, 2000, at approximately 
9:48 p.m., during the final break in The X-Files, the Profile 
miscued, such that at the end of a local newsbreak, a flash frame 
aired for approximately 1/10th of a second, consisting of the 
beginning of a political commercial that was scheduled to air at 
the beginning of the next break.  Then the automated system 
switched to the network feed of The X-Files.  The political 
commercial, of which this flash frame was part, aired in its 
entirety during the next break.  In support of this explanation, 
Fox provides information from its program log, as well as a 
videotape containing KTTV(TV)'s programming as it aired in real 
time during the time period in question, as well as a frame-by-
frame rendering of the miscue that resulted in the airing of the 
flash frame.  In addition, Fox states that KTTV(TV)'s technicians 
have adjusted their software in order to minimize the occurrence 
of programming miscues.

     Fox also states that DirecTV obtains KTTV(TV)'s signal as it 
is output by the master control, as automated in the manner 
described above.  Fox assumes that the DirecTV transmission 
recorded by the complainants' TiVo system contained the isolated 
text message in the flash frame that resulted when KTTV(TV)'s 
automated system miscued.  DirecTV's response confirms Fox's 
assumption.  DirecTV states that it carries the KTTV(TV) feed as 
part of its local market television offering in Los Angeles, and 
transmits the signal as it is sent from the local television 
station, with no modification other than for adjustments to 
proper audio and video levels and color representation.  DirecTV 
states that it does not make any additions or deletions to the 
content of the signal sent from the television station. You did 
not comment on the information submitted by Fox and DirecTV, and 
have not submitted any 
additional information that would contradict Fox's explanation 
for the appearance of the miscued text 

Based upon the information submitted, including Fox's videotape 
of KTTV(TV)'s programming during the time period in question on 
November 5, 2000, we are satisfied that KTTV(TV), DirecTV, and 
theofficers, directors, and employees of Fox and DirecTV were 
unaware of the miscued text message prior to airing.  Under these 
circumstances, we conclude that no further action is warranted.

                              David H. Solomon
                              Chief, Enforcement Bureau

cc:  Molly Pauker, Esq.
     Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs
     Fox Television Stations, Inc.
     Licensee, KTTV(TV), Los Angeles, CA

     David A. Baylor
     Executive Vice President

     Merrill S. Spiegel, Esq.