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FCC Adopts Rules Restricting Loud Commercials

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Released: December 13, 2011

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

December 13, 2011
Janice Wise (202) 418-8165
Email: janice.wise@fcc.gov

FCC QUIETS PERSISTENT PROBLEM OF TELEVISION AGE – LOUD COMMERCIALS – BY

ADOPTING RULES TO REDUCE VOLUME

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today took a major step toward
eliminating one of the most persistent problems of the television age – loud commercials. The
Commission adopted a Report and Order that implements the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness
Mitigation Act (the CALM Act), in which Congress gave the Commission, for the first time, authority to
address the problem of excessive commercial loudness.
The rules adopted today require that commercials have the same average volume as the programs they
accompany. The rules also establish simple, practical ways for stations and MVPDs to demonstrate their
compliance with the rules. They carry out Congress’ mandate to give viewers relief from overloud
commercials while avoiding unnecessary burdens on television stations and MVPDs.
As the CALM Act requires, the rules will become effective one year after the date of their adoption, or
December 13, 2012. This gives stations and MVPDs until this date to be in full compliance. Equally
important, it provides ample time for programmers and networks to provide their distributors with
certifications stating the commercials that accompany their programming are fully compliant with these
rules. These certifications, though not mandatory, will simplify the safe harbor process for all stations
and MVPDs. While consumer complaints about loud commercials have diminished since 2009, we expect
that these new rules will reduce loudness complaints still further.
Action by the Commission December 13, 2011, by Report and Order (FCC 11-182). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, and Clyburn. Separate statements issued by Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, and Clyburn.
For further information, contact Lyle Elder (202-418-2120; lyle.elder@fcc.gov). Press contact: Janice
Wise (202-418-8165; janice.wise@fcc.gov).
-FCC-
For news and information about the FCC, please visit: www.fcc.gov

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