Netflix and Hulu apps are displayed on an Apple TV system. Netflix and Hulu apps are displayed on an Apple TV system.

In theory, streaming was expected by many to provide a safe haven from commercial breaks and the scourge of excessively loud commercials.

But as streaming services have slowly but surely incorporated more commercials and ad breaks into their mix, the annoyance of immediately being inundated by an excessively loud commercial has returned, much to our eardrum’s chagrin.

It’s gotten so loud that Congress has become aware and new legislation that was introduced in the House and Senate last week could lead to some changes. Specifically, it could prohibit streaming services from airing commercials louder than the programming they’re offering.

As reported by Nextgov’s Frank Konkel, the bill is called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Modernization Act. It would not only limit streaming ad volume but also strengthen the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to enforce violations of the law by broadcast, cable, or satellite television operators.

This would actually be a new version of the CALM Act of 2010, which made similar laws around the loudness of television ads, but long before streaming services were as omnipresent as they are now.

“I authored the CALM Act in 2010 with Senator [Sheldon] Whitehouse to put an end to the booming ads on TV that were highly annoying for consumers,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who introduced the previous legislation. “Since the law was enacted, new popular streaming services have recreated the practice of loud ads because the old law doesn’t apply to them, and consumers continue to complain about loud ads on broadcast, cable, and satellite TV.”

Whitehouse did not seem pleased in his statement over streaming services skirting the initial law via a loophole.

“Consumers are fed up with advertisers blaring TV commercials at disruptively high volumes because of a weak FCC enforcement regime and a loophole for streaming TV,” he said. “I’m pleased to partner with Congresswoman Eshoo to strengthen our CALM Act to clamp down on loud ads on streaming platforms and give viewers a break.”

As more sports programming heads to streaming services, it would be welcome news for subscribers who don’t want to have to constantly monitor the remote while watching games or programming.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to