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FCC Fines Townsquare's KSII-FM/El Paso $6000 Over Contest


Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

The FCC has fined Townsquare Media's KSII-FM/El Paso $6000 for violating the Commission's rules when it failed to timely award a contest prize. On March 24, 2017, the Commission received a complaint alleging that Townsquare failed to award the complainant tickets to an Elton John concert. The complainant states that when he won the contest, a station employee took his information but informed him that the tickets were not yet available and instructed him to call back "after the new year."

The complainant called KSII in January and February, but was told that the tickets still were not available and that the station would contact him when they were. After calling about the tickets on March 6, 2017, and a station employee told him that the KSII would contact him about the matter on March 7. As of March 24, 2017, the complainant had not been contacted about the prize, and therefore filed a complaint with the FCC.

Townsquare asserts that the failure to award the tickets was due to "human error," but not a willful intent to defraud or deceive, "as evidenced by the fact that the four other... winners received their prizes." Townsquare further stated that it was unaware of any issue with the contest until it received the FCC's LOI, and that thereafter, it contacted the complainant "with offers to make amends for the station's inadvertent error in the form of free tickets to a performance of Elton John in Las Vegas, along with complimentary airline and hotel accommodations."

The base forfeiture to Townsquare's violation is $4,000, but because it admits that it did not award the winner of the contest the announced prize of a pair of tickets for the March 23, 2017, Elton John concert, the agency made adjustments to the base forfeiture, taking into account the particular facts of the case and imposed a fine of $6000.

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