Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have given the FCC another chore to do – the two legislators moved the widely popular Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation or CALM Act through Congress with bipartisan support, and it has been signed into law by President Barack Obama. At least two commissioners signaled that they look forward to implementing the bill.
The FCC is tasked with coming up with the rules of the road to enable enforcement of the new law, which will involve some technical considerations. It would also have to figure out criteria for granting waivers to broadcasters who may have difficulty complying with the law for one reason or another. It has one year to get everything in place.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “The CALM Act, a pro-consumer measure signed into law yesterday by President Obama, will help lower the volume on TV commercials. I commend the bill’s main sponsors, Representative Anna Eshoo and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, for proposing the legislation, and thank the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee for their leadership. The FCC will now focus on implementing the law to give consumers back the volume control on their TVs.”
Commissioner Michael Copps also weighed in, saying, ““During my tenure at the FCC, I have received literally hundreds of complaints about excessively loud TV commercials. Like millions of American viewers, I have had to suffer through this annoying practice, too. For years the best advice we could give aggravated TV viewers was to find the mute button! So I couldn’t be more pleased that President Obama has signed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act) into law. I especially want to commend Representative Anna Eshoo and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for introducing the legislation and for championing this common-sense measure through to final passage. This is a statute that clearly serves the public interest.”