FCC Sets Comment Deadlines For CALM Act Change

Gives industry and public until mid-January to weigh in

The FCC has set Dec. 27 and Jan. 13 as the comment and reply comment deadlines, respectively, on its proposed change to the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.

The act requires broadcasters and MVPDs to monitor and control the volume of commercials to make sure they are not louder than the surrounding programming, but the FCC is already proposing to change the standard.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released last month, the FCC proposed what it said was a minor rule change to the Act, an improved loudness measurement algorithm it said could lead to even quieter commercials by closing an electronic loophole of sorts. The Act anticipated and made mandatory any successor document so that the standard could keep pace with changing technology "affording the commission no discretion," the FCC said.

The algorithm appears designed to keep advertisers from using silence to offset excessive loudness in calculating the average volume of a commercial.