Tags: fcc | tv | emergency | fine

FCC Fines TV Networks for Using Emergency Alert Tone in Movie Ad

Monday, 03 Mar 2014 06:19 PM

By Jason Devaney

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The Federal Communications Commission has fined three television networks for misusing the emergency alert system.

ESPN, NBC Universal and Viacom have been hit with a combined fine of $1.9 million after using codes and a signal tone during commercials for the movie "Olympus Has Fallen" last year, The Hill reports.

Three ESPN-owned channels aired the ad in question 13 times during a four-day period. NBC stations showed it 38 times over six days, while Viacom, which owns stations such as MTV, Comedy Central and BET, aired the commercial 108 times in a five-day stretch.

These are all violations of an FCC rule that allows the use of the emergency alert system and its tones only during an actual emergency. Federal, state and local officials use the system to inform the public of severe weather, national emergencies, and other pressing situations.

"Olympus Has Fallen," released last spring, told the story of a North Korean terrorist group assaulting the White House. The trailer for the movie played the emergency alert tone and displayed "This is not a test" and "This is not a drill" while images of a terrorist in the White House and the resulting U.S. military response appeared on the screen.

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