American Super Bowl ads are coming to Canadian TV this year

Feb 1 2017, 11:01 pm

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

It has nothing to do with the Atlanta Falcons, or even the New England Patriots.

Budweiser. Doritos. Puppy monkey baby. Super Bowl ads!

Every year, we’re forced to watch the ads sold to Canadian broadcast rights holders. Often, they’re the boring ads you see all the time. Every year, millions are forced to check YouTube on Monday to see what crazy over the top Super Bowl ads were played in the US that we missed.

But no more.

A decision by the CRTC in January of last year determined that Super Bowl ads had become so popular that they are now considered part of the spectacle. Consequently, ads shown on Fox in Canada will contain big budget American ads everyone wants to see. That’s a departure from the past, where Canadian ads were shown on the American channel in Canada.

While this is something consumers want, it’s not without consequence.

Bell-owned CTV can still sell their own ads, but can no longer profit from simultaneous substitution (simsub), the process of showing Canadian ads on American channels viewed in Canada. That means that this year if you watch CTV, you’ll see the boring ads like before. But if you watch Fox, you’ll see what all of the fuss is about.

Bell Media, who own the rights to the Super Bowl in Canada, are set to lose millions in ad revenue. Canadian viewers who watch Fox also aren’t counted in the American ratings, and thus Fox doesn’t get to capitalize on our eyeballs either.

That’s the reason why Bell and the NFL are fighting the CRTC in court.

With mere days remaining until the big game on Sunday, time is running out to overturn the decision. For now, it appears the CRTC has sided with the public demand for big budget Super Bowl ads over the right for Bell and the NFL to make money.

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