There are very few times we use the phrase "National Nightmare" to refer to something and it isn't purely in jest. Today is one of those times. Commercial volume is a serious problem in this country. But those days are over. No more hearing people hastily say, "Could you PLEASE turn that down? My God, I don't know why you have put it so loud." when you weren't even the one that turned up the volume in the first place. "Did you see me grab the remote control the instant the commercials came on? Do you think I give a shit about Toyota-thon, you fucking dolt?" I swear it's as if they haven't watched a TV show segue into a commercial break in the last ten years and have no idea how shit operates.
According to Life Inc:
Shouting TV ads are soon to become a thing of the past as a new law goes into effect Thursday at midnight mandating that the volume of commercials has to be within a range of 2 decibels (db) more or less than the programming around them.
Joe Addalia, director of technology projects for Hearst Television, was in charge of figuring out the right technology to make 31 transmitters compliant with the new regulations. He told TODAY that 2 db was "the difference between viewers reaching for the remote and not." TV stations want to encourage watchers to leave the remote alone, he said, "because right next to the volume button is the channel button."
Joel Kelsey, legislative director for the media advocacy group Free Press, previously testified in Congress about the need for volume regulation on commercials. Since nearly the beginning of television itself, loud commercials "have consistently been one of the issues consumers are most energized to write the FCC about. They don't like being screamed at every time the program breaks to buy deodorant," Kelsey told TODAY.
However, it took an act of Congress, the "Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act," or CALM Act, to prod the FCC into the necessary action. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate.