The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday it is to increase the maximum fine for indecent material on broadcast television and radio to $32,500 (€26,819; £17,693) an incident -- an increase of eighteen percent.

The hike is allegedly to adjust for inflation, a curious claim given that the latter is currently running at around 3.1% (in the twelve months to May 30).

The New Puritan zeal that currently pervades congress may see the fines rise higher yet. The House has already passed a bill to raise fines to a maximum of $500,000 an incident, and Senator Sam Brownback (Republican, Kansas) is expected today to try to raise the ceiling to $3 million daily.

Congress is eager to increase the penalties in the light of the massive profits made by the nation's largest broadcasters -- alongside which the current fines are mere petty cash. The new penalties are likely to bite effective August at latest.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff