Loud Commercial Bill Passes House, on to Senate

Posted Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 11:15 AM PST by Mike Attebery

The disparity between the audio output of television shows and commercials is soon to be cleared up, if the bill is able to pass through the US Senate.

Television commercials are an accepted nuisance. We pay for the cable, and then pay for the content by watching advertising. Advertisers are eager to grab and keep your attention though, and that means resorting to the usual bag of tricks: sexy people, huge crane shots, and by being louder than everything else.

While certainly there have been measures taken to limit the loudness of commercials, the problem really isn’t how loud the commercials are. The problem is that regardless of the limitations set up, commercials are often louder than the TV show they’re advertising on. Viewers have to turn down their volume, mute their set – as the FCC suggests – or simply skip commercials using a DVR.

The CALM bill, which has now passed the House of Representatives and is on to the Senate, aims to end the problem once and for all. "This problem has existed for more than 50 years, but no one has properly addressed it," said Carolina’s Representative Anna Eshoo. "Under the CALM Act, consumers will no longer have to dive for the mute button."

The bill was introduced into the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse (with a name like Whitehouse, going into politics seems the only logical choice) on December 8th, and if passed, will allow advertisers a year to adjust to the new regulations.

Source: Anna Eshoo

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Tags: Broadcast Television, Cable Providers (all tags)