WIP fined $4,000 for banning Chapman from Wing Bowl 13

(From AICE News) ADLAW reports that the Federal Communciations Commission has fined CBS, the owner of 610 WIP of Philadelphia, $4,000 for banning Arnie “Chowhound” Chapman from competing in Wing Bowl 13 for being a member of AICE when no explicit rule prohibiting eaters from that organization existed:

The station said it disqualified him from competing in Wing Bowl 13 because he belonged to a competitive eating association, the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters (AICE). CBS stated that AICE is a rival of the group historically associated with the Wing Bowl, the Independent Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE).

CBS argued that Mr. Chapman should have known that he could not compete in the contest because members of IFOCE-rival associations previously had been disqualified from participating in the Wing Bowl 12 for the same reason. CBS also pointed to contest rules that allowed the station to disqualify contestants for subjective criteria, and a rule requiring contestants be station listeners. Mr. Chapman did not reside within the station’s broadcast area, so he could not be a listener, CBS argued.

The FCC noted that according to its rules, broadcasters are required to “fully and accurately disclose the material terms” of a contest. Further, such contests must be conducted “substantially as announced or advertised.”

The FCC concluded that CBS willfully violated these rules and fined the station $4,000.

update More information can be found in the document detailing Chapman’s complaint at fcc.gov CBS claimed that Joe Menchetti’s disqualification from Wing Bowl 12 should have made Chapman aware that non-IFOCE members were not welcome:

[Chapman’s] participation was incompatible with the IFOCE’s participation. Chapman had at least constructive or presumptive knowledge of this from the facts surrounding Gentleman Joe’s disqualification from Wing Bowl 12 and from the realities of the competitive eating world . . . In Wing Bowl 12, WIP established that with IFOCE eaters included as Wing Bowl competitors, professional eaters allied with national organizations that are active IFOCE rivals would not be welcome as competitors.

Comments (6)


  1. Gentleman Joe said

    April 14, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

    I was told (on air) that I was disqualified for ‘talking bad about them & Wing Bowl’. (What I wrote was that it wasn’t right that Sonya Thomas gets a bye when I along with many other non local eaters had to go do a qualifying stunt) I don’t know if ANYONE believes that to be the reason, but its what I was told.

    The ifoce’s 1st (semi-offical) association was WB 12. So, I don’ t think anything can be said regarding a long term or historical relationship. They didn’t officially associate w/ ifoce until after they dq’d Chapman.

    Wip.&/or their lawyers should be fined again for willfully LYING about these incidents as well. They stream their contest as well. They may not have when this occured. Chapman certainly listened while driving in & driving out after succesfully performing his stunt. Doesn’t the act of listening, MAKE you a LISTENER??! I am not, & have never been a “member” of any eating organization besides the ifoce. The best/worst you might be able to say is that I have participated in events that were run by aice. Strangely, to this day, I may have participated in more ifoce events than aice ones.

    How do you allow some people from outside the ‘listening area’ & allow MANY others??!

    I can’t argue w/ subjective criteria, because thats ridiculous.

    I have not, AS OF YET filed an FCC charge against ANYONE or ANY company. I might suggest, that more than one station should call me with an offer of some sort, to not contact the FCC. They should no who they are. If not contacted soon, I’ll send this along with the Adlaw stuff to them.

  2. beautifulbrian said

    April 14, 2007 @ 10:53 pm

    Holy Shit!

  3. Mega Munch said

    April 15, 2007 @ 9:11 am

    This is what happens when politics and other BS cloud people’s realization that IT’S JUST COMPETITIVE EATING!

  4. anon said

    April 15, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    and money

  5. Mega Munch said

    April 16, 2007 @ 7:13 am

    Oh yeah, that too.

    But the influences of money aren’t clear here. What does the IFOCE (soon to be MLE once the website is done) have to lose by allowing AICE to compete? Do they lose money? I don’t think so. Is the IFOCE paying to part of Wing Bowl (i.e. a sponsor) and can therefore request exclusivity? I’m not sure that’s the case either. If anyone is paying anyone, it’s WIP/Wing Bowl paying the IFOCE.

  6. ? said

    April 16, 2007 @ 7:50 am

    He did the right thing for all eaters! And he did it in a law abiding citizen-type way.
    This might open doors for others to compete!

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