The FCC has levied fines against television stations who failed to provide emergency alerts in a visual format for the hearing impaired. The fines, totaling $65,000, were levied against three San Diego stations for their broadcasts of information regarding a series of wildfires that raged throughout Southern California during the week beginning Oct. 26, 2003.
KUSI-TV was fined $25,000, while KFMB and KGTV were each fined $20,000. The FCC, after reviewing tapes of each station’s coverage, said the stations “willfully or repeatedly” failed to provide visual alerts during coverage.
The FCC told each station video programming distributors are obligated to provide viewers with hearing disabilities with the ‘same accessibility’ to emergency information as they provide to other viewers.
The commission said it had identified “numerous instances where (each) station aurally provided emergency information but substantially delayed the visual presentation of emergency information, if it provided the visual presentation at all.”