TV stations over and above the legal limit


Sinclair’s Fox WZTV-TV 17 Nashville TN and Nexstar’s Fox WTVW-TV Evansville IN have both been hit with hefty fines for going over the commercial limit during children’s program offerings. The were hit with similar fines, but arrived at them in completely different ways. WZTV was the hare in this dubious race. It had the misfortune of inadvertently airing a commercial which featured the Buzz Lightyear character during the Buzz Lightyear program four times between 12/1/02 and 1/16/03. According to the rules, this renders the program into a full-length commercial, easily eclipsing the limits of 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour on weekdays. WTVW took the tortoise approach between 7/6/98 and 8/17/08. It had comparatively minor commercial overloads ranging from four seconds to two minutes, but it had 25 of them. (On 15 occasions it was over the limit by 1:45). Although one took the high road and the other took the low road, the fines were similar: WZTV/Sinclair was hit for 15K, and WTVW/Nexstar was hit for 13K.