CRTC Denies Controversial Decision to End Ban on U.S. Super Bowl Ads


The CRTC is denying that its decision to end a ban on U.S. Super Bowl has to do with a drop in rating for this year’s broadcast in Canada. Bell Media said that last month 4.47 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl, which is actually 39 percent fewer than the previous year.

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais released a statement saying that the audience numbers have declined because of the increase in competition. In a letter, Blais said:

“It should be noted that the Super Bowl (average minute audience) in Canada had already decreased by 9.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and that, according to news reports, the NFL has been experiencing lower viewership overall.

This fact, combined with the reality that there are more programming services and high-quality programming than ever before competing for consumers’ attention, makes it difficult to draw a direct correlation between the total drop in the AMA for the Canadian broadcasters of the Super Bowl and the commission’s decision on simultaneous substitution.”

Bell Media did not directly reply to Blais’ letter. However, in a statement they released just a few days later Bell Media VP Scott Henderson said that the CRTC’s decision to ban U.S. ads on Canadian broadcasts had “a direct and negative impact on Canadian viewers, advertisers and the broader broadcasting and creative community.”

In comparison, U.S. news giant Fox drew an audience of about 111.3 million, which is smaller than last year but not by much. In the United States, the Super Bowl still ranks among the most watched event on television.

[via Metro News]


  • Riddlemethis

    This post makes no sense. Are we allowed to see US Super Bowl including US ads on US stations or was the 2017 a one off? And why are we stuck watching the Canadian feed of award shows like the Oscar’s if the ban has been lifted?

  • Alan Khalil

    Can anyone understand this piece?

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I’m not sure what this article is trying to say, but the title of the linked article is a bit clearer, “No ‘direct’ link between ads decision and Super Bowl ratings dive, says CRTC”

  • SV650

    It was only the Super Bowl to which this situation applied; no other programming is affected, and sim-sub continues for all other programming.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Its pretty straight forward. Bell blames crtc for suspending simsub during the superbowl but crtc says no direct correlation can be made because the superbowl was losing viewers last year to begin with

  • erth

    IMO, the crtc should make simsubs illegal. allow all consumers of video to decide if they wish to watch the canadian channel or the american channel. or, canadian broadcasters should not waste their time buying american feeds. try making canadian programming and see how that goes…


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  • MleB1

    Ratings on Canadian networks when showing a foreign TV feed should not be a concern of the CRTC. What should be a concern for the CRTC is that the networks use so much of their airtime on foreign content, rather than fund and support Canadian content (that isn’t just an Canadian’ized version of a program).

  • Chrome262

    drive me nuts, that i have to make sure I am on the US channels as the Canadian ones tent to pick and chose what programs to rebroadcast cast, and they tend to screw up the times. its gotten to the point where i just avoid them in general, unless i want to see local news of some crap. In either case, if you pay for a subscription service like cable, you should be able to see the full content for the channel you bought, I.e US channel. Same goes with Netflix and stupid licensing that forces you to buy Crave, whats up with that?