Turn down excessively loud ads, regulator orders television broadcasters

OTTAWA – Listen up: Canadian broadcasters will have to turn down the volume on their TV ads.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has given broadcasters until September to ensure both their programs and commercials are transmitted at the same volume.

The commission says 2009’s international standard for measuring and controlling television signals will apply to minimize fluctuations in loudness between programming and commercials.

Canadians flooded the CRTC with complaints last year about annoyingly loud TV commercials.

The commission published draft regulations in December and gave broadcasters a chance to respond.

The new rules take effect Sept. 1.

Other countries, including the United States, are also moving in the same direction. The U.S. passed a law requiring broadcasters and distributors to comply with the Advanced Television Systems Committee standards by the end of last year.

“The rules we published bring us a step closer to our goal of eliminating loud TV ads,” acting CRTC chair Leonard Katz said in a statement.

“We have every expectation that the industry will take the necessary steps to meet our deadline and provide relief to viewers.”