Beginning on December 13, 2012, the FCC’s new rules will require TV stations, cable operators, satellite TV providers and other pay TV providers to limit a commercial’s average volume to the same average volume as the programming it accompanies.
The day that the CALM Act takes effect cannot come soon enough. (via joepetro)

The Parents Television Council is not happy about an incident from Wednesday’s X Factor premiere in which contestant Geo Godley dropped his pants to sing for the judges and studio audience. So unhappy that they have filed an official complaint with the FCC.

“Perhaps the ‘X’ in X Factor stands for the MPAA rating,” said PTC president Tim Winter, whose organization filed the complaint this morning. “If Godley performed his act in public, he would have been arrested. But if he performs it in front of a Fox camera, his act is beamed via the public airwaves into every home in the nation.”

Fox of course censored the sensitive area but that didn’t stop the PTC from crying out as if it were hardcore pornography.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to limit the volume of commercials and keep them at the level of the programs they interrupt. The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the “apparent loudness” of commercials. So it hasn’t been regulating them. [USA Today]

Now if only movie theaters would do the same for trailers.

The courts have slashed FCC policy, relaxing the ban on TV profanity. Coming this Fall to TBS: “Conan’s G*d Damn F***ing Sh*t A**hole Hour”.
A federal appeals panel has tossed the FCC’s policies toward indecency on television airwaves, ruling that they violate the First Amendment. Here’s the decision, a big win for Hollywood and the broadcast networks, which have been fighting the government since the Janet Jackson boob-flash incident at the Super Bowl.
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine Fox $25,000 for failing to properly respond to its questions about the airing of a Jan. 3 episode of “American Dad” installment that drew 100,000 consumer complaints.

The controversy surrounding the issue is whether fines should be accosted to all network stations or just those where the complaints were made. 

Bonus: the American Dad episode in question garnered the 100,000 complaints due to some horse ejaculation.

The “American Dad” episode featured a conversation between two characters about their race horse and the need to keep him happy by keeping him sexually active.
“You’re gonna have to do the horse chores … You have to brush the horse’s coat and mane, water and feed it, then give it a full release. You know, give it a happy photo finish. Take the glue out of the factory. Spank his front butt. Grant him a bone loan!” said one character.
That dialogue was followed by a scene of the horse apparently ejaculating.
The FCC made a decision today that’s sure to piss off movie theaters and please agoraphobes: It agreed to make it easier for studios to transmit hi-def movies directly into homes before they are released on DVD or Blu-ray, in an “early release window.” What this means for you: Conceivably, in the not-so-distant future, you’ll be able to watch new movies like Iron Man 2 in hi-def, via cable or satellite, from home, just weeks after they’ve arrived in theaters. What this means for movie theaters: They will probably lose money. Certainly, they think they will. Only recently the AMC chain threatened to boycott Alice in Wonderland because Disney wanted to release the movie on DVD twelve weeks after its release, as opposed to seventeen weeks after, cutting into the chain’s revenue. If studios can send movies into homes in an early release window, this pre-shortening of a theatrical run will happen as a matter of course. The president of the MPAA tried to sugarcoat this by saying, “The first, and best way to view movies will always be in movie theaters — and nothing can replace the pleasure this brings to millions and millions of people all across our country and the globe.” But of course, this experience has already been replaced for many by screens only three-inches big. So, you know, thanks, MPAA for making a possibly short-sighted move that will make it easier for us never to leave the house!

In direct response to the ABC/Cablevision fiasco, the cable companies are petitioning the FCC to prevent future network pull outs.

The companies — including competitors Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and DirecTV, Cablevision, and Verizon [but not Comcast] — have formed a coalition that took its case Tuesday to the FCC.
In their FCC petition, the coalition claims that broadcasters have too much leverage in carriage disputes, considering their ability to pull programming and leave viewers stranded.
The coalition is positioning itself as an ally of the consumer, trying to hold down their prices as broadcasters — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — seek to squeeze more money out of them.
The petition asks that the FCC consider arbitration and force continuation of carriage while the broadcasters and TV providers negotiate their deals.