Much to the delight of Super Bowl fans – and advertising junkies – American Super Bowl commercials must now be aired in Canada, according to a new ruling by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The legendary crowd-pleasing ads have often been a bigger audience draw than the championship game itself, and every year, Canadians search for venues that will air the U.S. feed.
For those that watch the game on regular television, many of them make the annual pilgrimmage to YouTube to watch the big-budget commercials before or after the event. By 2017, however, the iconic ads will air in living rooms across the country.
What currently occurs is simultaneous substitution, otherwise known as simsub, where Canadian broadcasters remove the U.S. commercials and substitute a Canadian crop to generate revenue for local programming. But simsub often results in mis-timed games and glitches in the feed.
Because this practice is very profitable, simsub will continue for all other major broadcasts, excluding the Super Bowl.
Jean-Pierre Blais, head of the CRTC, announced the changes in front of the London Chamber of Commerce on January 29.
“Annually, simsub is worth about $250 million to the industry,” he said, also mentioning “Canadians have told us loud and clear: advertising is part of the spectacle associated with this event.”
CTV currently owns the airing rights for the Super Bowl and will lose out on about $40 million a year with no simsub for the event.
The CRTC is announcing these changes after completing a 15-month consultation process with the public that included 13,000 responses.
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