Largest Fine Proposed by FCC for Misuse of Emergency Alert Warnings

FCC Open Meeting - Broadband Plan

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed $1.93 million in fines against Viacom, ESPN and NBCUniversal for showing an advertisement numerous times that misuses the warning sounds of the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The FCC received complaints regarding a promotion for the release of the film “Olympus has Fallen.” All three companies responded to the FCC’s Letters of Inquiry that the advertisement appeared multiple times on several national and regional networks and used actual EAS codes and the Attention Signal to promote the film.

Over a five day period, seven Viacom-owned networks showed the advertisement 108 times and have received a proposed fine of $1.12 million. Three ESPN-owned networks broadcasted the advertisement 13 times over four days, receiving a proposed fine of $280,000. A proposed forfeiture of $530,000 was given to NBCUniversal as seven of their cable networks showed the advertisement a total of 38 times over a six day period.

Read more about the proposed fines for misusing the warning sounds of the EAS.