Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement following the announcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that new rules will be put in place to silence television advertisements which blare at ever-increasing volume.  Rep. Engel has previously co-sponsored legislation to do so, which went on to be signed into law in 2010 (CALM Act).  Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The rules adopted require that commercials have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.  The rules also establish simple, practical ways for stations and Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) to comply with the rules.  The new rules will become effective in on December 13, 2012.  The FCC has stated that loud commercials have been one of the top consumer complaint for decades. 

“I would have hoped that relief from this practice was near since the legislation I co-sponsored was passed and signed nearly a year ago. But we are on the right track now. The volume on commercials continues to get louder and louder to the point of not only distraction, but of inconvenience.  I have received continues complaints from people in my district about this practice, and it is about time this was addressed.  These new provisions provide citizens with an uptick in their quality of life so that after a hard day’s work they can sit quietly in their family rooms and not be jolted by a blast of volume on their TV sets.  Families that have small children trying to sleep will no longer have to guess as to which commercial and which channel will have excessive noise.  This will not prevent companies from advertising on television, nor should it.  In fact, makes it more likely that consumers will actually watch the commercials.

“I would have preferred the rule become effective today, but I am pleased to see progress made on this annoying issue.”