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Congress Dials Down TV Commercials

Posted on Sep 30, 2010

The Senate passed the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act on Wednesday, clearing the way for a quieter living room.

The measure, which would require broadcasters to keep the volume of commercials at the same level as regular programming, was already passed by the House.

What took them so long?  —PZS

AP via Yahoo:

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the “apparent loudness” of commercials. So it hasn’t been regulating them.

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de profundis clamavi's avatar

By de profundis clamavi, October 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Preview of coming attractions: Supreme Court decides law requiring broadcasters to use the same volume for commercials and other content is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment Right to Free Speech of the broadcasting and advertising corporatations.

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Sadly, there is a loophole here.  Because it is not solely about “volume”; it is also about EQ.  That is, the networks can keep the volume at the same level - thus staying “within the law” - but if they simply turn up the treble and turn down the bass for ads, it will have the same effect as turning up the volume.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, October 2, 2010 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

I love my Snuggie!

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By purplewolf, October 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

Wow! Only 60 years and it still isn’t done yet. Better that the length of time that “CON-gress” has claimed they have been trying to get health care for all of us who pay for theirs.

I have called one local TV station and they DID turn down the volume, their tech person said that some of the shows were digital while others weren’t and that no one else had called. But they did correct this-a first- and it is still the same volume on ads and TV shows for the past year.

AS for the products and or TV shows that come through with a level of noise that makes you jump to the ceiling and cling to it, I refuse to buy their products, watch their shows and if I have a phone number of the offending parties, I call tham-at their expense and tell them so.

If the con-gress creepers ever get off their dead asses and accomplish something positive for a change, I might just believe there is a God after all. No not really.

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By Salome, October 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m glad to see Congress take up this legislation.  I’m sorry that it’s necessary for the Federal Government to legislate mere decent consideration of people watching tv.  Regrettably, without government intervention, there seems to be no limits on what industry will do in pursuit of money, which means the government will have to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  I’m very afraid that the greed genie, out of the bottle, and unregulated for so long, will be difficult, if not impossible, to put back in the bottle.
Considering the rest of the problems facing the U.S., the loudness of commercials is more nuisance than anything else.  But it’s another effect of a deteroriation in the quality of life, same as litter, vacant storefronts, abandoned homes, junked cars left on the street, etc.  And all send the same message:  Americans are only important as worker bees, and consumers.  If you are too old, too disabled, too poor, to work and spend, you are expendable (thus, for instance, the movement to eliminate social security, without which many seniors would die).

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By DarthMiffy, October 2, 2010 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

That’s nice, but I already got rid of my TV for this disrespectful annoyance…and
the media in general’s decline to worthlessness. Only regret: not keeping up with
the science fiction shows. Solution: rent the DVDs and enjoy the director cuts.
Still, I agree with “glider”.

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By glider, October 1, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

LOL, the Congress can actually do something useful.

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