FCC votes to turn down loud TV ads

The Federal Communications Commission adopted regulations on Tuesday to limit the volume of loud television commercials.

The rules require that commercials have the same average volume as the shows they accompany.

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Broadcasters and cable companies will have one year to begin complying with the new regulations. Programmers, who bundle the ads with their shows, will be expected to certify to the TV stations that their programming complies with the rules.

Congress passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act last year to give the FCC the authority to regulate commercial volume.

“TV stations now have the responsibility to turn down the volume on excessively loud commercials, and it’s about time,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who sponsored the CALM Act in the House. “Households across the country will soon get the relief they deserve from the annoyance of blaringly loud television commercials.”

The American Cable Association, which represents small and medium-sized cable providers, also applauded the vote.

“As the FCC’s rules take effect, families viewing TV in their living rooms won’t need to lurch for the mute button anymore to deal with annoyingly loud commercials," ACA President Matthew Polka said in a statement.

Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, said the FCC "struck the right balance."