FCC Passes Act to Turn Down Volume on TV Ads

Commercial Volume Control - H 2011
Getty Images

Commercial Volume Control - H 2011

The new rules go into effect on December 13, 2012.

If for years you have complained about the sound on commercials being pumped up louder than the program you are watching on TV, somebody has finally done something about it.

On Tuesday the Federal Communications Commission passed rules that will make TV stations, cable operators and others responsible for keeping the volume on both national and local advertising to the same level as the program around it.

PHOTOS: TV's Priciest Primetime Shows for Advertisers

The new rules go into effect in about one year, on December 13, 2012.

The new rules are part of legislation passed in 2010 and signed by President Obama called the CALM Act. CALM stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation.

STORY: Anderson Cooper's Talk Show Is a News Program, FCC Rules

There is some flexibility in the rules for “imbedded ads,” meaning those passed along by program distributors. There are also rules which require large operators to do annual spot-checking of commercials for at least the first two years.

Small operators can seek a hardship waiver if they cannot afford to purchase new equipment. But they will still be responsible for the volume and could face punishment for violations.