FCC passes act to turn down volume on commercials
A new rule from the Federal Communications Commission should finally end the practice of viewers reaching for the remote control to turn down the volume every time there's a commercial break.
"The FCC today took a major step toward eliminating one of the most persistent problems of the television age -– loud commercials," the agency said in a statement.
Responding to years of complaints that the volume on commericals is louder than that of regular programming, the FCC on Tuesday passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM). The act requires commercials and entertainment and news programming to be kept at the same volume. The rules also require that the volume for promotional spots be equal to the shows around it.
Multichannel Video Program Distributors such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. and broadcasters will be responsible for making sure commerical volume is not excessive. The rule goes into effect next December.
The order and accompanying statements can be found at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/media-bureau-headlines.
Now can the FCC do something about the quality of commercials?
-- Joe Flint
Photo: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in 2010. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg