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FCC Calls for Comments on Commercial Loudness Rules

FCC seal
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The FCC Media Bureau is ready to take a look and its rules regarding the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, officially asking for comment from consumers and industry members.

The Media Bureau officially issued a Public Notice inviting comments, giving a deadline of June 3 for comments, with reply comments then due on July 9.

The CALM Act was enacted in 2010 by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) with the goal of regulating the volume of broadcast, cable and satellite commercials compared to other programming so that they are not significantly louder. The FCC adopted implementing rules in 2011 that require TV stations and MVPDs to ensure all commercials transmitted to consumers are at the appropriate loudness level. The FCC acknowledges that the rules have only been revisited once in the last 10 years, with minor changes adopted.

Eshoo has been calling on the FCC to revamp its efforts for the CALM Act, both under former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and now under Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. She points out that there have been “thousands of complaints,” and yet there has never been any enforcement related to these complaints.

The FCC is now seeking comment on the effectiveness of its rules on preventing loud commercials. The commission says that it particularly wants comments from consumers and their viewing experiences. Input from all stakeholders on whether the FCC’s CALM Act rules are serving their intended purpose are also sought, with hope that commenters will share what they believe are necessary updates.

“Comments filed will help inform the commission’s determination of whether to take additional actions—and if so, what measures should be proposed or taken—in furtherance of the purpose of the CALM Act to prevent television stations and MVPDs from transmitting commercial advertisements at louder volumes than the program material they accompany,” the Public Notice reads.

Comments can be filed through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System or mailed to the commission. Hand drop-off is still prohibited because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov.