FCC: Fewer loud commercial complaints

The Federal Communications Commission said it is getting fewer complaints about loud TV commercials.

The FCC enforces the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act, which requires TV commercials be the same average volume as regular programming.

The FCC received 3,501 complaints about loud commercials between June 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, a 53 percent decrease from the previous four months, the agency said in a quarterly report to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

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Eshoo, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology, introduced the volume-mitigating law with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

“Fewer complaints suggest that fewer TV commercials are airing at volume levels inconsistent with the programming around them,” Eshoo said in a statement

“For consumers, this means they’re finally getting relief from the earsplitting volumes of the past.”

The agency is analyzing two-thirds of the complaints to determine if it needs to take enforcement action, the letter said. The remaining complaints are being reviewed or were incomplete.

The FCC told Eshoo it is investigating one “entity” for potential violations of the act based on complaints the agency as received.

The agency is also revising the way viewers provide information about complaints. The commission’s attempts to identify patterns of violations “has been hampered by incomplete or insufficiently specific data,” the agency wrote.

It has “already identified changes to the complaint form that will improve the completeness and specificity of the data,” but “implementation of the revised complaint form has been delayed by lack of funding due to the commission’s reduced budget,” according to the report.