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Sen. Rockefeller: CALM Act Should Fix Loudness on All TV Commercials

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) has advised FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that he wants the Commercial Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act to fix the loudness problem on all TV commercials, period.

In a letter to the FCC chairman Monday, Rockefeller, who chairs the powerful Senate Commerce Committee,  advised him that "despite what some parties are now suggesting," Congress meant for the CALM Act to "turn down the volume" on all TV commercials "regardless of the entity responsible for inserting them into the programming."

Cable operators, for example, have argued that they can't be expected to police millions of commercials. The FCC in proposed rules implementing the act, suggested that cable operators be responsible for  "not only for local commercials they insert into programming, but national ads on TV stations they retransmit as well."

"I urge you to develop rules that will fix this persistent problem for all television commercials," said Rockefeller.

The FCC has to adopt the implementation rules by Dec. 15, 2011, one year after the bill was enacted in response to complaints about commercials whose volume was louder than the surrounding programming. Among other things, the act requires the commission to mandate a technical standard "designed to prevent television commercial advertisements from being transmitted at louder volumes than the program material they accompany."