Earlier this week, we highlighted a letter sent last week from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo asking the FCC to review CALM Act compliance. The letter noted that the FCC has received thousands of complaints about loud commercials in the decade that the law has been in effect without having taken any enforcement action. The FCC wasted no time in reacting, with Media Bureau issuing a request late Monday for comments on the current rules which implement the law and whether changes to those rules are needed. Comments are due June 3, 2021, with reply comments due by July 9.
The CALM Act (the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act) was passed in 2011 due to the perception of many in Congress that the volume of commercials on broadcast, cable and satellite television was far higher than that in the programming that surrounded the commercials. After the legislation was passed, the FCC adopted rules to implement the Act (which we described here). Those rules were principally based on compliance with a set of ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) recommended practices, to be enforced through a complaint-driven system. The FCC has updated those rules once (when ATSC updated its recommended practices – see our article here). The FCC now asks if those rules should be revisited to make them more effective in combatting the perceived problem of loud commercials.
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