Senate Passes Bill to Lower Volume of Commercials

The Senate has passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, complete with ironic abbreviation (CALM in caps), a bill which would have the Federal Communications Commission regulate the volume of commercials so they cannot exceed the volume of the television shows they accompany.

Recommended Videos

Though the bill passed the House last December, it is currently awaiting another passing vote from the House, and is then expected to be signed into law by President Obama. The bill would have the FCC create a standard within a year by which commercial volume can be lowered that also adheres to the international standard regarding digital television.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senator Charles Schumer of New York:

“It’s about time we turned down the volume on loud commercials that try to startle TV watchers into paying attention. This is a simple step that will keep ads at the same decibel level as the programs they are interrupting.

TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial.”

Over at Gizmodo, an anonymous online television engineer explains that the law wouldn’t necessarily prevent commercials from being louder than the programming they accompany, mainly because there’s no unified regulation for online video content: Some content is controlled and changed by the media player in which it plays, while other content is difficult to normalize depending on how many engineers have handled it, and even a commercial filled with music and sound effects is difficult to normalize with a show that’s mainly composed of talking.

Whether or not the anonymous engineer is correct and the bill can’t regulate commercial volume, the weird thing is, if content providers can prove the regulation would be too difficult to employ, they would able to apply for a waiver that would allow them to avoid following the new regulation, which seems to mean all it’d take to circumvent the regulations is a clever lawyer or two, something most corporations have at their disposal.

(via CNET, The Hill, and Gizmodo)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article We Ranked EVERY ‘Godzilla’ Movie in a Kaiju-Size Spectacle
Shin Godzilla lumbers off into the distance in "Shin Godzilla"
Read Article Adele Exarchopoulos’s Next, ‘Beating Hearts,’ Is a Mishmash of Genres
A still from Gilles Lellouche's 'Beating Hearts'
Read Article When Can We Return to the Flames With ‘Fire Country’ Season 3?
Max Thieriot in Fire Country
Related Content
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article We Ranked EVERY ‘Godzilla’ Movie in a Kaiju-Size Spectacle
Shin Godzilla lumbers off into the distance in "Shin Godzilla"
Read Article Adele Exarchopoulos’s Next, ‘Beating Hearts,’ Is a Mishmash of Genres
A still from Gilles Lellouche's 'Beating Hearts'
Read Article When Can We Return to the Flames With ‘Fire Country’ Season 3?
Max Thieriot in Fire Country