ABC was fined by the Federal Communications Commission over a “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” skit that used simulated wireless alert tones. Reuters reports that the civil fines over the skit making fun of a presidential alert test total $395,000.
The report quotes the FCC saying the use of emergency alert system or wireless emergency alert tones is barred by FCC rules “to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation of the system by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones.”
ABC released a statement saying it takes “regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue.”
Reuters adds: “In its consent decree with the FCC, [ABC] admitted it did broadcast the tones ‘in the absence of an actual emergency’ or authorized test in an Oct. 3, 2018 broadcast.”
The ‘Kimmel’ bit reportedly used a simulated wireless emergency alert tone three times during a sketch about the nationwide presidential wireless emergency alert test that took place the same day.
Separately, Reuters notes, AMC Networks agreed Thursday to pay a $104,000 fine for using an alert tone in a February 2019 episode of the “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery agreed to pay a $68,000 civil penalty for including an actual wireless emergency alert tone in an episode of Animal Planet’s “Lone Star Law.”