Watching TV has been a chore in recent years – and not just because of all the bad programming (Zing!). You’ve noticed it: you’re watching a show at what seems like a reasonable volume when all of a sudden, a commercial comes blaring in across your speakers. From there it’s a mad scramble for the remote, to bring relative peace and quiet back to your abode.

Well, after living under the tyranny of TV ads that can literally shout their sales pitch into your ear, we celebrate a day of liberation: TV advertisers are no longer allowed to bombard us with “extra-loud” commercials.

The ban went into effect at midnight, as part of new mandates handed down by the Federal Communications Commission, which adopted the new rule a year ago. The long-short of it is that commercials must now (gasp!) maintain the same relative volume as the programs they air during – though, there is plenty of wiggle room within that mandate that I’m sure will be exploited. Certain shows are pretty loud and obnoxious (Jersey ShoreBad Girls Club) so it could be argued their advertisements can be too. And what the exact definition of “relative volume” is, is anybody’s guess…

The FCC wants help enforcing the ruling from its on-the-street snitches (read: you): If you still encounter TV commercials that are assaulting your eardrums, you can call a number to report that advertiser (1-888-TELL-FCC). So, if there is a particular commercial that has really been trying your patience, now could be the time to drop a dime in revenge…

Hopefully, we are entering a new era of TV viewing in which our eardrums are safe. The only question now is: what trick will the advertising world next invent to keep commercials all up in your face?

Source: (hat tip to Mother Jones)