After Decades of Complaints, the inexorable wheel of Government Finally Turns...Wingman.
The FCC requires broadcasters to ensure that the sound level on commercials is the same as on programming. It will go into effect in December 2012.
Excessively loud television commercials should be a thing of the past, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission.
Responding to years of complaints that the volume on commercials was much louder than that of the programming that the ads accompany, the FCC on Tuesday passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act to make sure that the sound level is the same for commercials and news and entertainment programming.
"Most of us have … experienced this ourselves: You're watching your favorite television program, or the news, and all of a sudden, a commercial comes on, and it sounds like someone turned up the volume — but no one did. Today, the FCC is quieting a persistent problem of the television age: loud commercials," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps said, "I cannot tell you how many hundreds of citizens have told me — personally, through emails and letters, at public hearings, even across the family dinner table — how obnoxiously intrusive they find loud commercials."
The act comes a year after Congress passed legislation regarding commercial volume and directed the FCC to come up with enforcement rules. The architect of the bill was Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park), who pushed for the legislation after hearing complaints about loud commercials from her family.
The FCC said cable and satellite TV companies as well as local broadcasters will be required to make sure the volume on commercials is kept in check. The rules go into effect in December 2012.