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

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

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

Both the Pokemonand 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.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.