New rules for TV stations to turn down the commercials come begin Saturday



OTTAWA - The days of blaring television commercials are over.

Starting Saturday, all broadcasters will have to ensure the volume of commercials isn't higher than that of regular programs, following new rules brought in by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications.

"Canadians will be able to enjoy their favourite television programs without having to adjust the volume during commercial breaks," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a press release.

After years of receiving complaints, the CRTC conducted tests that confirmed volume jumped during TV commercials. Last year it launched a public proceeding in which more than 7,000 Canadians weighed in.

Broadcasters must submit a report to the CRTC by Oct. 15 confirming they have met the new requirements.

Dervla Kelly, director of communications at Shaw Media, said the broadcaster has taken steps to ensure it meets the rule but added that "anomalies can sometimes occur in the viewer's household related to the set-up of equipment and the particular audio mix selected at production."

Matthew Garrow, director of corporate affairs at CTV, said that because broadcasters were mandated to follow the new rules, CTV would be witholding comments on them until Oct. 15 when they submit their report to the CRTC.

Broadcasters are held to international standards for measuring and controlling television signals.

The United States will adopt the same standards by the end of 2012. Until then, "viewers watching over-the-air signals of American stations may be exposed to excessively loud ads," according to the CRTC.

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