Bell’s Super Bowl Ad Rates of Nearly $200K for 30 Seconds Return, on Hopes of CRTC Reversal

Bell plans to charge prices for Super Bowl ads on the assumption simsub will return for 2018, which if it does, would allow the company to swap Canadian ads over U.S. television feeds in Canada, reports The Globe and Mail:

The ad sales strategy is the same one that Bell pursued last year. At the time, it had already taken its fight to the Federal Court of Appeal, and also asked for a stay of the simsub change – selling ads on the assumption the stay would come through. That did not happen, though the court granted Bell leave to appeal in November, 2016. The issue is still before the courts. Earlier this month, Bell filed an application asking the CRTC to overturn its ruling.

The report says Bell last year reduced its ad pricing by 35 per cent, when it was unable to overturn the CRTC’s simsub ruling, and if history repeats itself, it will revise pricing similarly again this year. The company claimed the simsub ban has cost the Canadian economy $158 million, based on research from Communic@tions Management.

“The pricing was revised, which obviously contributes to delivering less revenue. And we also sold less inventory because of it,” said Perry MacDonald, senior vice-president of English television and local sales for Bell Media.

McDonald added “Advertisers are being very supportive of our position,” saying the company will again make adjustments to ensure any lost views for ads are made up for.

“These are long-valued relationships that we have with advertisers and their agencies. We’re going to ensure that they get what they paid for,” explained McDonald.

According to unnamed sources speaking to The Globe, Bell has been able to charge $150,000 to $190,000 per 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, with prices rising as the finale draws near.

Bell said its Super Bowl ratings plunged 39% due to the CRTC ruling on simsub, with the game this past February seeing an average audience of 4.47 million, versus 7.32 million in 2016.