Finally, after four long years of waiting, the CALM Act, which stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, took effect yesterday, Thursday, December 13th. The CALM Act, introduced by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo in 2008, requires broadcast, cable, satellite and other video providers to keep the volume of commercials at a level consistent with regular TV programming. “This has been a top consumer complaint for decades. I never dreamed that this would strike the chord that it did with the American public,” Eshoo said at a news conference yesterday.

Apparently loud commercials have been a top consumer complaint for almost 10 years. According to a 2009 Harris poll, almost 90 percent of TV viewers are bothered by high commercial volumes, prompting 41 percent of viewers to turn down the volume, 22 percent to mute the TV, and 17 percent to change the channel altogether. The FCC passed its final rules implementing the law in December 2011, but the agency gave the industry a one-year grace period to adopt it. So, yes, we can now report violations to the FCC’s website.

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