Congress Votes to Lower Volume of TV Commercials
Matt | On 08, Dec 2010
This is an interesting piece of legislation, even if it’s not the most urgent.
Have you ever been watching your favorite show, it goes to commercial, and *BAM* the volume goes straight up on the TV? Well, blame that on marketers who know you don’t give a damn about what they are trying to sell in between segments of “Law & Order SVU.”
The marketers responsible for commercials think they have to turn the volume up because most likely you won’t be near the TV for that 3-4 minute break. You’re supposed to make a sandwich, run to take the trash out, make a quick phone call, or sit on the toilet and hear how fantastic some new vacuum cleaner is for only 12 easy payments of $39.95. Most times it doesn’t work and it just pisses people off.
Congress finally has a solution for the madness. Last week, they passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM Act. This requires the FCC to regulate the volume of TV commercials so they won’t continue to scare the shit out of us.
The legislation cleared the House last Thursday, and made it through the Senate in September. It will now head to the White House for the president’s signature to become law.
The FCC has received complaints since the 1960’s – yes, FOUR DECADES – about this issue, but to no avail. They do not control the volume on commercials. They would tell consumers to buy extra sound-reducing equipment, get a new TV (that has built in sound control), or just oil up that arthritic trigger finger and learn how to work the mute button. Sad, huh?
This new legislation goes into effect one year after the FCC sets new decibel levels for TV. At that time, the commercials can’t be louder than the highest volume of the show. The rules apply to both cable and satellite providers.
Sidenote: I wonder how the cable companies are going to spin this to convince us they need to raise rates for the 4,098,209,589th time?