KMTP-TV, an educational station in San Francisco faces a $10,000 fine
after the Federal Communications Commission ruled the noncommercial
foreign-language station aired advertisements for State Farm, Met Life, and
several local retailers.
The violations occurred 1,900 times since June 1999 and drew complaints from
the local AT&T cable franchise and KTSF (TV), a local commercial station.
Noncommercial stations are permitted to identify underwriters with on-air
acknowledgements but may not promote contributors' products and services.
KMTP defended most of announcements on grounds that creating 'value-neutral'
acknowledgements is a 'daunting challenge' when the languages at issue --
Vietnamese, Mandarin, Filipino and Korean -- do not always 'yield precise
cross-cultural verbal equivalencies in English.'
KMTP also disagreed with translations of the announcements provided by the
But the FCC found KMTP's own translations exceeded
One announcement, for instance, promoted a mileage plan of Asiana Airlines
and described the carrier as 'the best airline in the world.'