clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FCC Rejects Viacom and ESPN Efforts to Avoid $1.4 Million Fine for Airing Ad

This is not a test, using the Emergency Alert System tones to hawk your movie is not okay, FCC says.

The Federal Communications Commission rejected appeals from Viacom and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN to avoid paying a combined $1.4 million for airing a movie trailer ad that used the Emergency Alert System tones. The FCC slapped the companies and Comcast’s NBCUniversal* with a combined $1.93 million fine for airing the ads for the movie “Olympus Has Fallen” last March. Comcast, which has a $45 billion deal pending before the agency, quickly paid its $530,000 proposed fine. The two other companies appealed, but the FCC rejected their arguments, saying Monday the fine underscores the importance of avoiding “frivolous or casual use” of the emergency tones.

*NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Revere Digital, Re/code’s parent company.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.