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The FCC just got a bunch of money from The Walking Dead and several other shows over emergency sound violations. The zombie drama's network is one of several that have reached a financial settlement over the issue. When you have a TV show with alarming events, complementary sound effects are not too far behind. That can be a problem when using the real thing.
Back in February 2019, The Walking Dead broadcast the Emergency Alert System tone twice during Season 9. In the end, it aired on eight occasions. Hence, series broadcaster AMC is paying $104,000 to the FCC for the violation, per Broadcasting Cable. That is a large chunk of change, and AMC is not the only one paying up.
ABC is going to pay the FCC $395,000 for a Jimmy Kimmel Live! sketch that simulated the Wireless Emergency Alert three times. A settlement that is no laughing matter.
Meanwhile, Discovery is going to pay $68,000 for Animal Planet’s Lone Star Law. It aired the same alert Jimmy Kimmel Live! did but for a different reason. The show captured the sound while filming during Hurricane Harvey.
As you can tell, ABC had to pay the most, with AMC a distant second, and Discovery, an even more distant third. Will it happen again? All networks vowed to “strict” compliance going forward, so it seems doubtful. A lesson learned by all for a hefty price.
Since Jimmy Kimmel is not retiring, and The Walking Dead is returning for a new season, they will have ample time to follow through. All told, the FCC will collect more than half a million dollars from the aforementioned penalties.
The good news for everyone is that no one is going to think they are getting an emergency alert when they are not. I wonder if stricter compliance will lead to someone overseeing various broadcasts to make sure there are no future violations?
The Walking Dead’s violations occurred during the second half of Season 9. The series will return for its tenth season this fall. There are changes ahead. Last month, Danai Gurira confirmed that she will be exiting the series as fan-favorite Michonne in Season 10.
Also set to happen is a potential team-up between Negan and Daryl. Cue sanctioned alarm sounds. The Walking Dead returns for the Season 10 premiere October 6 on AMC. It is one of many series returning to television this fall. You can currently stream past seasons of the series on Netflix, among other premieres.