More Fines for Misuse of Emergency Alert System Tones

Continuing its crackdown on the misuse of emergency alert system (EMS) tones in television and media programming, the FCC has proposed a $272,000 financial penalty against CBS Broadcasting and its affiliates.

According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, the network permitted the broadcasting of a simulated EMS tone during a nationally televised episode of the series “Young Sheldon” in April 2018. Although the Commission acknowledges that the producers of the show modified the sound, it says that it “still audibly resembled actual EAS tones.”

FCC rules prohibit the broadcasting of EAS tones, including simulations of such tones, except during actual emergencies or during authorized tests of the EAS system.

The FCC reached settlements with four separate media outlets in connection with their unauthorized use of EAS tones during television and radio broadcasts, including ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Consent Decrees confirming the settlements include combined payments of over $600,000 in civil penalties, with ABC paying nearly $400,000 of that amount.

Read the FCC’s Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in connection with CBS’s misuse of the emergency alert system.

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