Ever since Julius Genachowski became Chairman, the FCC has spent an enormous amount of time examining broadband issues, and very little time on broadcasting. That will not be the case at the December meeting, however, when the agenda will be 100% focused on television. But don’t get too excited.
The FCC is simply going to present its Report and Order implementing the CALM Act as mandated overwhelmingly by Congress. The Act, initiated by House Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), addresses long-standing complaints from numerous quarters about blaring commercials that greatly exceed the decibel level of the programming they are accompanying. It had bipartisan support, and is essentially a non-controversial item agenda with which to end 2011.
The FCC description of the item, which is the only piece of business on the December agenda, is: “Mitigating Loud Commercials Report and Order: The Commission will consider a Report and Order that protects consumers by implementing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act to prevent digital television commercial advertisements from being transmitted at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.”
The meeting is on the schedule for Tuesday 12/13/11.