Hate Loud Commercials? Well, They May Be Outlawed Soon

Good news for those of you who hate loud commercials — a bill currently bouncing around in Congress would force the FCC to “preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.”

The cleverly named Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or “CALM”, would require the following:

(1) advertisements accompanying such video programming shall not be excessively noisy or strident;

(2) such advertisements shall not be presented at modulation levels substantially higher than the program material that such advertisements accompany; and

(3) 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.

The Wall Street Journal says that the industry is already planning to deal with the commercial loudness issue on its own.

Broadcasters say they are addressing the problem already. “The major television broadcast networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, are each, individually, implementing policies that attempt to control loud commercials,” said David Donovan, president of the Association for Maximum Service Television, a broadcast industry trade group, speaking at a hearing Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee.

A representative from NBC said that Congress can expect an industry-wide review of commercial volume in July. Broadcasters could begin implementing it by the fall.

Do you think they’ll actually do this? Should Congress pass the bill? Or do you not care about loud commercials?

Lawmakers Make Noise About Loud Commercials [WSJ]
Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (Introduced in House) [THOMAS]