Another Huge EAS Tone Misuse Fine

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by

Back in November, the FCC issued an enforcement advisory and a few fines for the transmission of commercial or other content that contained an EAS tone or something close to it as attention-getters.  One of the victims last time was the Turner Broadcasting System, which earned the privilege of paying $25,000 for preparing and distributing to over 97 million households a promotion for the Conan show that included sounds similar to an EAS tone.

Well, Turner is back in the FCC’s crosshairs; this time, at a price tag of $200,000 for repeating the error.  The FCC received numerous complaints about a commercial for Best Buy on Turner’s Adult Swim cable network, which included audio that simulated EAS tones.  The commercial apparently aired 14 times over six days, and came after Turner’s earlier representation to the FCC that it had changed its internal review practices after the Conan incident.

Now is a good time to review your station’s procedures for screening commercial matter to be sure they include a review for offending EAS tones.  It might also be a good idea to add a clause in your commercial sale documentation that the advertiser/provider of the material will hold the station harmless for EAS tone simulations that result in a fine.