CRTC tells broadcasting industry to turn down the volume on loud television commercials‏

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CRTC tells broadcasting industry to turn down the volume on loud
television commercials

Ottawa-Gatineau, September 13, 2011 – Today, the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that broadcasters must
control the loudness of TV commercials by September 1, 2012.

“Over the years, we have seen a steady increase in consumer complaints
about loud ads,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC.
“Broadcasters have allowed ear-splitting ads to disturb viewers and have
left us little choice but to set out clear rules that will put an end to
excessively loud ads. The technology exists, let’s use it.”

During its public proceeding, the CRTC received over 7,000 comments.
Canadians were overwhelmingly of the view that commercial advertisements
were too loud and urged the CRTC to take action.

In 2009, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the
internationally recognized technical standards body for digital
television, set a standard for measuring and controlling television
signals in order to minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming
and commercials. This is the standard that will apply as a result of the
CRTC’s action. Equipment to measure and control the loudness of
commercials is widely available in the marketplace.

This decision means that viewers will no longer have to reach for their
remotes to manually control the volume when regular programming cuts to
commercial advertisements. Broadcasters will have to ensure that both
programs and ads are transmitted at the same volume.

Draft regulations requiring Canadian broadcasters to adhere to the ATSC’s
international standard will be published for comment before the end of 2011.

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-584


The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

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