FCC Updates CALM Act Regulations

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The FCC has released a Second Report & Order in MB Docket No. 11-93 that makes minor changes to its rules implementing the CALM Act.  These rules restrict the volume of television commercials.  As required by law, the Report & Order incorporates the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) March 12, 2013 A/85:2013 Recommended Practice, which is the successor to the July 25, 2011 A/85:2011 Recommended Practice currently included in the Commission’s rules.  As described by the ATSC, the new Recommended Practice applies an improved loudness measurement algorithm that may reduce the volume of some commercials.  The Commission expressed its hope that this change will result in a modest decrease in the perceived loudness of certain commercials.  Compliance with the March 12, 2013 Recommended Practice will become mandatory on June 4, 2015.  Until that date, parties must (at a minimum) comply with the July 25, 2011 Recommended Practice as provided in the Commission’s rules.   Parties may also instead choose to comply with the new March 12, 2013 Recommended Practice before the mandatory compliance date.

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