Regulators slapped the $395,000 fine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the sketch on October 3 past year, the same day alert was officially tested nationwide, going out to more than 200 million mobile phones.
Combined fines of $600,000 in civil penalties were issued as a result of misuse by ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", AMC's "The Walking Dead", Discovery's "Lone Star Law" and Meruelo Radio Holdings' KDAY (FM) and KDEY (FM) morning radio shows. "The FCC's rules prohibit such broadcasting of EAS tones - including simulations of them - except during actual emergencies, authorized tests or authorized public service announcements".
To protect the objective of the warning system, the agency has a rule against use of EAS tones or their simulations - except in actual emergencies, authorized tests or qualified public service announcements.
ABC agreed to pay a $395,000 civil penalty for an October 2018 episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" where it used a simulated WEA tone three times during a sketch. Earlier that day, roughly 225 million electronic devices across the US received the "Presidential Alert" that read "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed", that alert said.
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The agency found that ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! At the center of the bit is a family frantically trying to literally outrun a relentless onslaught of Trump texts, "Presidential Alerts", and warnings of "FAKE NEWS". The Walt Disney Television-owned network released a statement saying it takes "regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue".
Jimmy Kimmel's show was not the only culprit.
Outside of the monetary penalties, the companies also agreed to what the agency called "a strict compliance plan" to make sure the alerts aren't played unless warranted again. That way, listeners aren't confused when there's an actual emergency that warrants the alert.