Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) wants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act—against loud commercials. Her “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act’ has just cleared a subcommittee and now moves to the full House Energy and Commerce committee for a vote.

The bill is only a couple hundred words long. It directs the FCC to come up with regulations so that:

* Advertisements accompanying such video programming shall not be excessively noisy or strident
* Such advertisements shall not be presented at modulation levels substantially higher than the program material that such advertisements accompany
* The average maximum loudness of such advertisements shall not be substantially higher than the average maximum loudness of the program material that such advertisements accompany

Found by Brother Uncle Don.

  1. DirtCrashr says:

    This is similar to local, idiotic behavior by our incredibly stupid Legislature that is “protected” – protected by the fact that since 1991 – almost twenty years – they are secure in their Democrat Gerrymandered districts and don’t have to run a credible campaign to become re-elected.
    We have in effect a California Democrat Politburo who can’t be ousted, they have the numbers on their side, and the campaign money supplied by the Unions. Any attempt to run against a vote-protected incumbent is a waste of money.
    But, like an inbred species of dog, the flaws in this low-hanging fruit, no-opposition breeding-ground have become obvious. There is no actual intelligence requirement, and frivolous behavior like this is becoming normative – since they have nothing to do but enact the edicts of their Politburo at The Central Committee – really, that’s what it’s called, the Democrats named it that.
    Fortunately the Stupidslature has within it the seeds of its own downfall, but the consequences for the rest of us – and the Country – will be severe.

  2. Cursor_ says:

    Then they circumvent it by sponsoring the TV shows whom set their volume levels higher as well to make the commercials seem normal.

    People need to wake up.


  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    #14, Lyin’ Mike,

    Why is she asking the FCC to come up with regulations? She’s in Congress, she should be writing the regulations.

    Another one that doesn’t understand the difference between laws and regulations.

  4. maryland157 says:

    Could you imagine if billy mays was still alive and was forced to talk at normal levels? The ads would stink!

    I’ve never really noticed any differences in the volume levels for ads lately, it seems that comcast is doing some volume control.

  5. Wardww says:

    I’ve read all the comments above and I really don’t give a flying foxtrot whose fault it is or who should fix it. The fact is it is rude and annoying and for all the $ we pay for cable TV, it should not happen, simple as that.

  6. yanikinwaoz says:

    Every once in a while while at a friend’s house I will be subjected to their TV. It reminds me of why I don’t own one anymore.

    Between Hulu, and Netflix streaming, I get to watch all the programs that interest me. I can mute my computer when the ad is on and switch windows to a blog or news site to do some reading. When the ad is over, I switch back and resume the audio.

    For programs that aren’t online, I can rent the DVD from my Netflix account. So what if it is last season’s episodes? They are new to me. I can also scan the reviews to see if I should even bother watching the program or episode.

    I’m getting married in January, and I know there is going to be one hell of a blow out when I refuse to let the wife bring a TV to our house.

  7. Angel H. Wong says:

    #32 pedro,

    Boner pill ads are like beer ads. They promise a hot chick but in the end you have to deal with an old hag IF she’s in the mood.

  8. Ray says:

    Compressor Limiter takes care of it very well.

  9. Uncle Dave says:

    Everyone is missing the simplest answer which I have been using for a few years now: a DVR. I record everything before watching, then skip the commercials all together. Only downside is when someone asks if I saw such and such ad which was clever or whatever, I have to say I have no idea what they’re talking about.

  10. Mick Hamblen says:

    Why isn’t there a law about how loud a motor vehicle is? All land based vehicles should be limited to 100 db.

  11. chris says:


  12. Floyd says:

    #35: You are aware that most broadcasting businesses are owned/run by people that are mostly contributors to the Republican Party , aren’t you? Those broadcasters may contribute to Democrats as well of course, but that’s just so both sides of their bread is buttered.

  13. Glenn E. says:

    It’s not simply that some (or all) Tv commercials are LOUD. Often the host Tv station’s volume for the program (movie?) is too low, or it’s higher frequencies filtered out. A local MyNetwork station (DC) seems to like to do this a lot. So you’re forced to raise the Tv set volume to hear it. And naturally, the commercials comes thru LOUD and CLEAR. Soon as I hear the station pulling this trick, I avoid them completely, for that time slot.

    I’m sure that whatever legislation comes along and says they can raise the commercial’s volume. Will simply be compensated by stations lowering the programs’ volume. Or filtering out high frequencies. Whatever it takes to force the listener to jack up their set’s volume, and thus hear the commercials LOUDER.

    And to think all this expensive digital HD technology, that everyone’s gotten suckered into paying for. And the station owners can just crap up the audio anyway they please. Seems to me there ought to be an edict for the Digital Tv standard, concerning a consistant audio quality, at all times. Not one level for commercials and one kind for programs. And no more offering of providing commercial sponsors a superior level of power, picture or volume quality, over what is used the rest of the day.

    Not that I’ve got a Digital convert box, that displays signal strength. You can see how these stations like to vary the power, depending on what’s being broadcast. Seems to me a license to operate on “public airwaves”, implied consistency of some sort. And not playing these games with the transmitter setting. Or it’s time some licenses were revoked!

  14. Glenn E. says:

    This law will be useless as long as it’s not properly worded to enforce a consistent audio quality and volume level, at all times. And I’m sure the politicians know they’ve written in a loophole to this effect. They just what to appear to be earning their salaries.

  15. Nugget Coombs says:

    This would be a great idea here in Australia as well.
    My own practice is to boycott ALL businesses that choose to advertise in an annoying manner, whatever form of annoyance that may be, whether overly loud or too repetitive, my theory has always been that ‘Softly-Softly catches the monkey.

  16. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    #40, I’m getting married in January, and I know there is going to be one hell of a blow out when I refuse to let the wife bring a TV to our house.

    Don’t be an asshole. Solve that problem before you get married.

  17. RecoverylessRecovery says:

    How about a bill that would require TV stations to TURN DOWN THE VOLUME ENTIRELY whenever that mulattoe azzhole of a ‘president’ we have gives a speech?

  18. Andy Scusting says:

    There are so many advirtisements with shouting voices and repeative throbing music , you forget them all when they’re on the radio …… With television advirtisers rely on graphics . Here’s how you make an advirtisement memorable …….. no sound and make the viewers read the subtitles ……Please use your imaginations .

  19. Beauty says:

    I don’t know many people that like commercials, let alone hearing them become extra loud for no reason. I even hate when it does that! I want something done but I think that DISH has already beaten the government to it by releasing the Hopper (DVR). The Hopper has an awesome feature I just read about called TruVolume. It pretty much levels commercials to become one Volume instead of becoming really loud. I love the idea. As customer and employee with DISH, I was able to learn about it and try it out and it really does work. Something I can’t want to have myself. You should check it out too!


Bad Behavior has blocked 12935 access attempts in the last 7 days.