ABC Fined by FCC Over ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Misuse of Emergency Alert System Tones

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law” were also in violation, with ABC paying largest penalty of $395,000

ABC/Randy Holmes

The Federal Communications Commission has fined ABC as well as a handful of cable networks and radio stations a collective total of more than $600,000 for falsely using emergency alert tones on the air, the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau announced on Thursday.

The settlements came after the FCC accused the broadcasters of misusing Emergency Alert System (EAS) or Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tones on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law,” in violation of the Commission’s rules.

ABC will pay the biggest penalty, owing the commission $395,000 for using the sound in his monologue from an October episode of the late night talk show.

AMC will pay a $104,000 penalty for use of the emergency alert sound in an episode of the zombie apocalypse drama, while Discovery will pay $68,000 for accidentally capturing a real WEA tone while filming the Animal Planet documentary show.

Spokespersons from ABC, AMC and Discovery didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The FCC issued an advisory alongside announcement of the settlements which stated, “We remain concerned about the misuse of the EAS codes and EAS and WEA Attention Signals, or simulations thereof, to capture audience attention during advertisements; dramatic, entertainment, and educational programs, and at any other time that there is no genuine alert, authorized test, or authorized PSA about the EAS or WEA that is accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer. The FCC may issue sanctions for such violations, including, but not limited to, monetary forfeitures.”