American TV told to turn down the adverts’ volume

It’s a problem in the UK, which the regulator appears to ignore, however in America the days of the adverts being greatly louder than the programmes is coming to an end.

The Federal Communications Commission is enforcing new rules which bans commercials from being at a different level to the programmes. Earlier this week the regulator passed a set of requirements that coincide with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, which President Obama signed into law 12 months ago in the United States.

The legal requirements on advertising sound levels will take effect from this month, and the networks have a year to comply, there after action by the Federal Communications Commission has been threatened by the board.

While varying levels between channels is unfortunate, flick through any music channel on the Sky platform and you’ll find some which are lower than others, viewers are more easily annoyed by sudden jumps in volume on the same channel, usually when a commercial break kicks in. The issue in the UK has been all but ignored by broadcasters and the TV regulator, but in the USA the issue has been taken much more seriously.

The Federal Communications Commission state that for around 50 years they have been logging complaints by viewers about the volume of commercial presentations, with a major increase in the past decade, the issue currently tops their complain list.

Recent search reveals that some adverts on American networks were up to ten times louder than the programme they were contained within.

The new Federal Communications Commission rules require broadcasters and their distributors to monitor the sound levels of their output. Any which are too loud must be edited and the sound lowered.

ABC, CBS and NBC have all begun a process of maintaining a level between adverts and programmes. Fox, Comcast and Time Warner have mad e no public comment on the new regulations.