Why did the FCC fine Jimmy Kimmel Live! $395,000?

Answer: For using the tone for the national wireless emergency alerts.

by / August 19, 2019

The Federal Communications Commission doesn’t want anyone else to use the specific audio tone that accompanies its wireless emergency alerts, and for good reason. If users hear the tone too often and in non-emergency contexts, the sound could lose its emphasis and the sense of urgency that usually accompanies it. Such use could also cause confusion and make people believe there is an emergency when there isn’t one.

That’s why the agency just slapped the ABC late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! with a fine to the tune of $395,000 for playing the tone three times. In an October episode last year, the show played a sketch parodying the idea that President Trump would be able to use the national alert system at his personal discretion. That segment of the episode has since been deleted from YouTube, and ABC will not be rebroadcasting the episode.

AMC also received a fine of $104,000 for playing the tone in a February episode of its hit TV show The Walking Dead. The FCC said that other networks also received fines, bringing the total issued to $600,000.

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