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Ovation: The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.


Back in the day, my mother and I would get all our homework and chores finished so that we could watch television before bedtime.  One of her favorites was Dynasty, but she would always fall asleep and miss the last ten minutes.  She’d snap awake when that final commercial aired because it was always louder than the program itself.  Of course, this was long before DVRs and Tivos so there was no rewinding to see what she had missed.

The FCC voted yesterday on rules implementing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, which prevents TV ads from being delivered at greater volume than the programs surrounding them.  TV stations and cable and satellite operators must now ensure that the average volume of a commercial doesn’t exceed the average volume of the programming around it.  Tuesday’s action implements the CALM Act, signed into law last December.  Apparently, the emergence of digital television technology has made it possible to regulate the volume of commercials.

If it weren’t for those loud commercials, my mother might have spent many nights asleep on the sofa in front of the television.

Copyright © 2011

From → Ovations

  1. Finally. There are certain channels that are particularly bad with the loud commercials- any of them that broadcast football, for example, and Center Ice. It’s not just a higher volume, it’s twice as loud and physically jarring!


  2. Sue permalink

    About time. Our 2-year old TV has a control to reduce the volume of commercials but it doesn’t work very well, if at all. So this is music to my ears.


  3. Some [many] commercials are jarring enough without the increased volume, so i’m liking this idea.


    • I’m sure they’ll think of a way around it. They can only be as loud as the “average” in the program … so I imagine things will start to become silent at the end of most scenes so advertisers can still get a “bang” for their buck!


  4. I know exactly what you’re talking about- those loud commercials always get me too after my brief naps. Although I think for the most part I’ll be happy to have them regulated.


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