Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for finalizing new rules to crack down on excessively loud television commercials. The FCC adopted the rules as a result of Whitehouse’s Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, legislation signed into law last year to prevent commercials from being transmitted at a louder volume than the shows that they accompany.
“This little improvement to our daily lives is nothing compared to the big issues our nation faces, but the annoyance of abrasively loud television commercials is something Rhode Islanders often mentioned to me, and I’m glad to have done something about it,” said Whitehouse. “The FCC’s new regulations will soon put an end to this daily annoyance.”
The FCC has received consumer complaints about commercials being louder than television shows since the 1960s. Of twenty-five quarterly reports on consumer complaints released by the FCC since 2002, twenty-one listed loud television commercials as a top complaint, and the FCC has received almost 6,000 complaints or inquiries about loud commercials since 2008. Last year Consumers Union, the nonprofit organization that publishes Consumer Reports, stated in testimony before the House of Representatives that “the CALM Act provides an elegant and common-sense solution to finally ending a forty-five year consumer complaint in the United States.”
Under the new rules, the FCC will require all television stations and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to ensure that the programming that they broadcast is free of excessively loud commercials. Stations and MVPDs have until December 13, 2012 to comply.