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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING
Licensee of Station KPRR(FM)
El Paso, Texas
Control No. 99100031
NAL/Acct. No. X32080003
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: February 9, 2000 Released: February 10, 2000
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we find Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses,
Inc. ("Clear Channel"), licensee of Station KPRR(FM), El Paso, Texas, apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of $4,000 for an apparent violation Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules, which requires
licensees, among other things, to fully and accurately disclose material terms of a contest. We find that Clear
Channel conducted a contest, "So You Want to Win 10,000," without disclosing a material term of the
contest, i.e., that the prize was 10,000 Italian lira, not $10,000.
3. On October 4, 1999, the Commission's Mass Media Bureau received a complaint from Ms.
Trisha Dean. According to Ms. Dean, in early September 1999, Station KPRR(FM) began promoting a
contest in which, by answering ten questions correctly, a contestant could win "10,000." On Monday,
September 10, 1999, Ms. Dean was chosen as the contestant, and she answered the ten questions correctly.
After being told that she had won, the disc jockeys told Ms. Dean that they had never said what the winner
would win 10,000 of, and they told her that she had won 10,000 Italian lira. Ms. Dean states that she took
their comment as a joke because both she and the disc jockeys laughed.
4. On September 30, 1999, Ms. Dean went to the station to pick up her check, and found that the
check was only for $53.00 (the approximate value of 10,000 Italian lira). Ms. Dean states that Bill Struck,
the station manager, told her that she had won Italian lira.
5. On November 4, 1999, the Commission staff sent Clear Channel a letter of inquiry. In its
response, which was filed on December 13, 1999, Clear Channel states that the contest "So You Want to Win
10,000" was intended as a spoof of the television show "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" Clear Channel
claims that the teases for the contest suggested "that the 'contest' was just another silly bit on the KPRR
morning show." Clear Channel admits, "The morning show intentionally did not state what the 'ten thousand'
referred to." According to Clear Channel, the station never stated "on the air" that it was giving away ten
thousand dollars. Rules for the contest, which stated that the prize was 10,000 Italian lira, were posted on
Clear Channel's web site.
7. Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules provides:
A licensee that broadcasts or advertises information about a contest it conducts shall fully
and accurately disclose the material terms of the contest, and shall conduct the contest
substantially as announced or advertised. No contest description shall be false, misleading
or deceptive with respect to any material term.
Under Note 1 to that rule, the material terms of the contest include "the extent, nature, and value of prizes"
and "the basis for valuation of prizes." Note 2 to the rule states:
In general, the time and manner of disclosure of the material terms of a contest are within the
licensee's discretion. However, the obligation to disclose the material terms arises at the time
the audience is first told how to enter or participate and continues thereafter. The material
terms should be disclosed periodically by announcements broadcast on the station conducting
the contest, but need not be enumerated each time an announcement promoting the contest is
broadcast. Disclosure of material terms in a reasonable number of announcements is
sufficient. In addition to the required broadcast announcements, disclosure of the material
terms may be made in a non-broadcast manner.
8. In this case, it appears that Clear Channel violated Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules by
not disclosing a material term of the "So You Want to Win 10,000" contest the fact that the prize was
10,000 Italian lira. Clear Channel admits that it intentionally did not disclose the nature of the prize. The
failure to disclose the nature and value of the prize is a clear violation of the rule. Moreover, despite Clear
Channel's protestations that it never claimed that the prize was $10,000, a listener had no way of determining
that the prize in question was 10,000 Italian lira (or anything other than $10,000). The Commission has held
that licensees are "responsible for broadcasting accurate statements as to the nature and value of contest
prizes, and will be held accountable for any announcement which tends to mislead the public."
9. We reject Clear Channel's argument that disclosure of the contest rules on its web site complied
with our rule. The Commission's rules clearly state that "[t]he material terms should be disclosed periodically
by announcements broadcast on the station conducting the contest." 47 C.F.R. 73.1216 n.2 (emphasis
added). The rules state that while disclosure by non-broadcast means (such as the World Wide Web) can be
considered in determining whether adequate disclosure has been made, the non-broadcast disclosures must be
"[i]n addition to the required broadcast announcements. . . ." Id. Thus, while non-broadcast disclosures can
supplement broadcast announcements, they cannot act as a substitute for broadcast announcements.
10. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act and Section 1.80(a) of the Commission's rules both
state that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with the provisions of the Communications
Act or the Commission's rules shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. For purposes of Section 503(b), the
term "willful" means that the violator knew it was taking the action in question, irrespective of any intent to
violate the Commission's rules.
11. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Clear Channel conducted the "So You Want to Win
10,000" contest without disclosing a material term of the contest, in apparent willful violation of Section
73.1216 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement sets a base forfeiture
amount of $4,000 for a violation of Section 73.1216 of the rules. In this case, based upon our review of all
the pertinent factors as required by Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, we believe a $4,000 forfeiture is
13. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, Clear Channel
Broadcasting Licenses, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the
amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for willfully violating Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules, that within
thirty days of the release of this Notice, Clear Channel SHALL PAY to the United States the full amount of
the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice shall be sent, by Certified Mail/Return
Receipt Requested, to Clear Channel's counsel, John M. Burgett, Esq., Wiley, Rein & Fielding, 1776 K
Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau