TV Commercials Can No Longer be Blaring With New FCC Regulation

Imagine the disappointment of hearing aid companies now losing possibly thousands of future customers. Oh well, they still have loud music on their side.

On Thursday, TV Ads must not reach a higher volume than the programming they accompany, due to the FCC‘s new CALM Act.

CALM stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation.

On December 15th, 2010 President Obama signed this Act into law which was set to be adopted a year ago.

This law regulates not only TV stations, but also Cable and Satellite companies.

All such companies are required to follow the Advanced Television Systems Committee A/85 Recommended Practice (ATSC A/85 RP), which is a set of methods to measure and control commercial volume settings. The FCC offered a waiver good for one year to any broadcasters suffering financial hardships as the result of said rule, but only one waiver is allowed, all of which expire on Thursday.

In other words, no matter how you watch your TV shows, be it regular signal, wire-fed or internet, you will no longer have commercials making you scramble for the remote just to hear yourself think or talk on the phone.


The Federal Communications Commission set the rule down a year ago, but has given broadcasters a grace period to submit to it. As of Thursday, it is no longer an option. It will be mandatory.

Suspected violations can be reported to the FCC website at in case they don’t adopt the new policy in time. Include the time, channel, description of the commercial, and the broadcasting method you are utilizing. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Call Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322). Your complaint can also be faxed to 1-866-418-0232, or mailed to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Ahhh, CALM at last.