Canadians complain about not being able to see American Super Bowl ads

Feb 8 2021, 10:57 am

For the second year in a row, many Canadians who tuned into the Super Bowl did not get to see many of the famous big-budget American advertisements.

A Supreme Court decision in 2019 stated that Canadians could only see Canadian broadcaster-based ads, as a means of promoting locally based products and keeping advertising dollars north of the border.

Advertisers typically pay more than USD $5 million for a 30-second spot in the United States, so those ads are often more entertaining than the ones Canadian channels typically air, although some brands are trying to keep up with their American counterparts.

Beginning in 2017, the CRTC allowed Canadians to view American ads if they wanted to on CBS, while Canadian ads aired on CTV. The CRTC noted that part of the Super Bowl experience for viewers was the commercials and argued that they could allow both kinds of ads.

However, the NFL and Bell argued that the CRTC didn’t have the power to make the decision, and the Supreme Court agreed. They reversed a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2019, ruling that the CRTC went beyond its scope under the Broadcasting Act.

So whether you tuned into CTV, TSN, or even CBS, Canadian fans were subjected to only the Canadian broadcaster ads.

As a result, many took to social media to share their frustration on missing out.

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