FCC – Never, Never Broadcast a False EAS Tone

The FCC is proposing to fine Fox Corporation (and others) $504,000 for allegedly violating Section 11.45(a) of the FCC’s rules, which prohibits false or deceptive emergency alert system (EAS) codes or EAS Attention Signals. According to the Notice of Apparent Liability, on November 28, 2021, Fox transmitted a three-second excerpt of the EAS Tones during a Fox National Football League broadcast in a short comedic promotional segment for an upcoming game. The segment was run on its 18 owned-and-operated stations, on 190 network-affiliated stations, on Fox Sports Radio (reaching nearly 15 million listeners on iHeartRadio and FOXSportsRadio.com), and on the “Fox Sports on XM” channel carried nationwide on the Sirius XM satellite digital audio radio service.

Once again, we remind all stations that EAS tones can only be broadcast during actual EAS tests or alerts. They should never be used as part of any entertainment, sports, or even news programs. Broadcasting these tones may trigger the EAS boxes in stations across the state.

The FCC takes this issue very seriously. So make sure EAS tones are broadcast only for tests or in cases of an actual alert.

You can see the FCC’s Notice of Apparent Liability here.