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FCC Issues Fines to Stations Violating Limits on Commercials in Kids Shows - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Issues Fines to Stations Violating Limits on Commercials in Kids Shows

KMTW, WBNX hit for host-selling, other infractions
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Buzz Lightyear and Pokemon strike again.

The FCC has issued a total of $55,000 in fines against five
TV stations, including two for kids shows featuring the iconic characters.

Topping the list of fines were a pair of $16,000 fines for
stations in Kansas and Ohio, both for violating the FCC's limits on commercials
in kids shows.

KMTW was fined for a Buzz Lightyear commercial (actually six
of them) that aired in the Buzz Lightyear TV show (this was back in 2002). The
FCC considers that host-selling that turns the entire show into one long
commercial.

The other $16,000 fine was levied against WBNX-TV Akron,
Ohio, for various overages, including of 15- and 30-seconds, host-selling and a
program-length commercial. One of the problem was a fleeting image of a Pokemon
card in a 2003 ad that aired in a Pokemon
program.

Both the Pokemon
and Lightyear
ads have come back to bite numerous stations through proposed
fines or admonitions--a black mark on your file--from the FCC. The commission
limits commercials to 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour
on weekdays.

Two more stations were fined: KQUX-CA Austin, Tex., $9,600;
and KTVG Grand Island, Neb., $6,000, for failing to keep their public
inspection files current.

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