On June 4, 2014, the FCC issued its Second Report and Order making minor changes to the rules implementing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act). The FCC has adopted a successor Recommended Practice (the “Successor RP”) approved by the Advanced Television System Committee on March 12, 2013. The Successor RP replaces the earlier Recommended Practice incorporated in the FCC’s rules in 2011.
For television stations and MVPDs, the new standard incorporates an improved loudness measurement algorithm which uses “gating” to exclude very quiet or silent passages in a commercial when calculating the average loudness of the commercial. The net effect is to reduce consumers’ overall perception of volume of commercials which have both very loud and very soft passages. This change will require some commercials to be adjusted to conform to the requirements of the CALM Act.
Compliance with the Successor RP will be required as of June 4, 2015, but licensees may implement the changes sooner if they wish. Stations should check with their manufacturer of the equipment used for compliance with the CALM Act to determine whether that equipment can be upgraded to meet the new requirements of the Successor RP. If not, the FCC has a procedure under which stations can seek a further extension of the required compliance date for up to an additional year (through June 4, 2016), premised on a showing of financial hardship.
For additional information regarding the recent changes to the implementation of the CALM Act, please contact any attorney in our office.