Federal MPs Ask CRTC to Reverse Super Bowl Ad Ruling

Two Liberal MPs, Bob Nault and Wayne Easter, are asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to reverse its new Super Bowl ad ruling, which allows the NFL to run an unfiltered broadcast of its championship, hence allowing Canadians see the ads broadcast in the US (via The Star).

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The CRTC’s ruling generated reactions from multiple involved parties: from the National Football League, which sold the Canadian rights to the gamer, the US federal commerce officials; CTV, which paid for the Canadian rights and aims to recoup the costs by selling domestic ads; and, of course, Canadian advertisers, who say this decision is costing them large amounts of money.

The Liberal MPs have penned letters to a number of policy-makers, arguing that the CRTC’s ruling is costing the Canadian economy tens of millions of dollars, and that some of the ads aired during the show contain products Canadians don’t even have access to.

They are urging the CRTC to change its ad policy before the Feb. 5 game.

The new rule was adopted by the CRTC in early 2015 after the regulator had studied the broader issue of simultaneous substitution. The regulator argued that the quality of these broadcasts is occasionally spotty, and that Canadians had complained about the missing Super Bowl ads.

The MPs have various methods to reverse the CRTC ruling. They even issued a letter to their colleague Melanie Joly, the heritage minister, as they hope to pressure the CRTC into acting fast. They also appealed to Health Canada, arguing that US broadcasters can air ads featuring pharmaceutical products that aren’t allowed in Canada. Health Canada has the power to order the CRTC to suspend its Super Bowl ad policy.