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]