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TV Commercials Too Loud? FCC Seeks Feedback to Update CALM Act

TV Commercials Too Loud

IS THAT COMMERCIAL FOR THAT THING, WITH THAT PERSON PRACTICALLY YELLING AT THE SCREEN, JARRING YOU FROM A NEAR-SLUMBER MIDWAY THROUGH THE LATEST NCIS?

If so, the FCC wants to hear from you (using your inside voice, of course).

The FCC Media Bureau is taking a fresh look at its rules regarding the nearly decade-old Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, by soliciting feedback from consumers.

Created to “eliminate any systematic difference between the loudness of commercials and the loudness of the programming they accompany,” the CALM Act’s rules have been revisited only once since their initial institution, to adopt minor changes. Now, the FCC is seeking comment (form here) on “the extent to which our rules have been effective in preventing loud commercials. In particular, we invite consumers to tell us their experiences as they watch programming provided by television broadcasters and MVPDs (multichannel video programming providers).”

The Media Bureau made its interest in feedback known via a Public Notice posted April 19, and which gives a deadline of June 3 for comments.

In the Public Notice, the FCC invites “comment from consumers and industry on whether any updates are needed to the Commission’s rules implementing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act. Further, we seek input from all stakeholders on whether the CALM Act rules are effectively serving their intended purpose, and on specific areas in which commenters believe updates are needed given improvements in technology or new industry practices.”

Comments submitted will help inform the FCC’s determination of whether to take additional actions to ensure proper commercial volume — and if so, what measures should be proposed or taken to prevent TV stations and MVPDs from transmitting commercials at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.

All filings responsive to this Public Notice must reference “MB Docket No. 11-93,” and can be filed electronically here by June 3.