Hello FCC … FCC. Can you hear me? Hello! Hey, what are you doing about toning down those loud TV commercials?
Two legislators who helped Congress enact the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act in September 2010 asked that question Wednesday.
In a joint letter to Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon, the legislators -- Clyburn, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. --called for the FCC to update Congress on its progress implementing legislation that is intended to prevent broadcasters and cable programmers from having one volume level for TV shows and a far louder one for ads.
"We know the American people will be grateful when they are completely free from the nuisance of loud commercials," said the letter.
The legislators want the FCC to outline the number of complaints it has received on loud commercials every month since last December and to indicate whether the number is falling. They also are asking the FCC to identify noncompliance.
Finally the letter asks whether the FCC has received complaints about the loudness of ads inserted into video-on-demand programming.
An Eshoo aide said the request to the FCC isn't the result of any particular incident but stemmed from the legislators continuing interest in ensuring their legislation is enforced.
The CALM act doesn't set any particular loudness level for TV shows. It is aimed at ensuring that program commercials aren't markedly louder than the shows themselves.