U.S. Super Bowl Ads Will Air in Canada Again After Supreme Court Denies Bell’s Request


Canadian viewers will be able to watch American ads this year when they watch the Super Bowl on an American channel.

Bell Media asked the Supreme Court of Canada to step in and allow it to substitute Canadian advertisements over U.S. channels during the game on February 4. However, the final ruling that came down yesterday rejects Bell Media’s request.

The CRTC prohibits the practice known as simultaneous substitution in the name of giving Canadians what they really way, the ability to watch the highly-funded American commercials.

Bell asked for the stay in early January when it applied to appeal the CRTC’s decision. They argued the the CRTC does not have jurisdiction to band substitution for a single program. Bell Media said that the ban costed the company $11 million last year, and citied it as a factor which lead to dozens of job cuts.

However, Judge Russell Brown did not grant their request to deal with the leave to appeal on an expedited basis. In addition, he rejected their request to expedite the hearing if they are granted leave to appeal.

The last minute attempt to overturn the ban for this year’s big game may have failed, however, Bell is not giving up. In an email sent on Friday, Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson said:

“We will continue to pursue every option to have the Super Bowl’s simultaneous substitution ban reversed for 2019 and beyond.”

In previous years, Canadian ads were substituted over the Fox broadcast, however, this year users will be able to see the American ads.

[via The Financial Post]


  • Bill___A

    “We will continue to pursue every option to have the Super Bowl’s simultaneous substitution ban reversed for 2019 and beyond.”
    Let’s ban simultaneous substitution across the board – for every program. This might encourage more quality Canadian content, rather than have Canadian networks spend foreign exchange on programs from other countries.

    I have the CBC News Channel on right now, for example. No American channel carries it, so this sim sub issue is not a problem.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I’ll be happy to allow simultaneous substitutions when I can substitute Bell for T-Mobile.

  • MicBehr

    Dear Bell Media – if you want to alter a program’s original content because you’re loosing revenue, please give me back some of the 11 million and subsidize the bottom line cost to the consumers – the ones affected by your desire to have us watch what your advertisers are paying you to feed us. Because without customers, coupled with the 11 million shortfall, you’ll have to rethink your archaic strategy. Things change. Needs change. And perpetrating and pushing your archaic model isn’t working in the 21st century.

  • Manpreet Singh

    Did you mean “ what they really pay” in 3rd paragraph

  • Ryan

    ?? The only reason I watch Super Bowl is for the AMERICAN ads

  • FragilityG4

    Just wait until the NFL allows a Canadian only broadcast thus making certain no US ads are aired.

  • SV650

    Why not just stream them in the days leading up to the game. Waaaaaay less time wasted.

  • erth

    another idea would be to NOT show the super bowl at all. then, if people wanted to watch whatever you are showing, you could use canadian commercials. i feel that canadian media now expects simsubbing, and in turn does not want to make canadian content. starting making something that people in canada want to watch and forget about buying US made broadcasts. we have the ability to watch them on abc, cbs, nbc, fox.

  • Michel Plante

    Bravo ? CRTC ??Bell won’t control us this time ?

  • BeaveVillage

    American advertisements and New England Patriots, two reasons to watch Superbowl LII.

  • ticky13

    The NFL already offers a world feed. There is nothing stopping CTV from using their own commentators in a studio in Toronto.

  • FragilityG4

    But I mean with the American affiliate stations blocking their feed to Canada.