ABC fined by FCC over ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ misuse of emergency alert system tones

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 a segment from an October episode of the late night talk show. In the segment, Kimmel aired a fake movie trailer mocking the president’s idea for a wireless alert system.

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JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, April 16 included Rob Lowe ('Super Troopers 2'), Michelle Wolf (Host of this year's White House Correspondents Dinner), and musical guest Jorja Smith. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Thursday, April 12 included Shia LaBeouf ('Borg Vs. McEnroe'), Sandra Oh ('Killing Eve'), and musical guest First Aid Kit. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL, CLETO AND THE CLETONES
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, April 11 included Anna Faris ('Overboard'), Chris Hardwick ('Talking Dead'), and musical guest The Regrettes. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL, CLETO AND THE CLETONES
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, April 11 included Anna Faris ('Overboard'), Chris Hardwick ('Talking Dead'), and musical guest The Regrettes. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, April 10 included Eva Longoria ('Overboard'), Sebastian Maniscalco (Radio City Music Hall Special), and musical guest Daniel Caesar Ft. H.E.R. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, April 9 included Zooey Deschanel ('New Girl'), Snoop Dogg ('Joker's Wild'), and musical guest Snoop Dogg. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) SNOOP DOGG, JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, April 9 included Zooey Deschanel ('New Girl'), Snoop Dogg ('Joker's Wild'), and musical guest Snoop Dogg. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 09: Jimmy Kimmel is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on April 09, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, April 2 included Jeffrey Dean Morgan ('Rampage'), Jenna Fischer ('Splitting Up Together'), and musical guest Ashley McBryde. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ, VAISHNAVI SAM, JIMMY KIMMEL, SAMUEL BERNARDO, AMIMRA WARREN
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, March 21 included Charlie Day ('Pacific Rim Uprising'), Henry Winkler ('Barry'), and musical guest Sabrina Carpenter Ft. Jonas Blue. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) HENRY WINKLER, JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, March 20 included Katie Couric ('Stand Up To Cancer'), Judd Apatow ('The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling'), and musical guest The Decemberists. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Thursday, March 15 included Zach Braff ('Alex, Inc.'), Nick Robinson ('Love, Simon'), and musical guest B�rns. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, March 13 included Andy Samberg ('Brooklyn Nine-Nine'), Lena Waithe ('Ready Player One'), and musical guest Buddy Guy. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, March 12 included Lionel Richie ('American Idol), Yara Shahidi ('grown-ish), and musical guest Moon Taxi. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) JIMMY KIMMEL
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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.”

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