Sportscaster Magazine


Super Bowl Ad Case Kicked Down the Field

Super Bowl Ad Case Kicked Down the Field

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal will hear an appeal related to the on-going Super Bowl Ad Case, and an earlier broadcast regulator decision about inserting Canadian commercials into coverage of the NFL Championship match instead of carrying the big-budget ads from the U.S. telecast.

Media reports from Canadian Press and the Globe and Mail indicate that Bell, a division of BCE Inc., has been given leave to appeal the regulatory policy decision that bans it from swapping its own TV sportscast – particularly the profitable advertising – for the signals from U.S. channels.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission had ruled against so-called simultaneous substitution of Canadian ads over U.S. ones during the Super Bowl. The Commission had received complaints from Canadians who say they really want to see the U.S. commercials as they air, rather than in any recap show or as video streaming samples after the fact.

Now, Justice David Near has granted leave to appeal regulator’s decision, but he denied a stay of the ruling until an appeal of the case is heard.

Bell spokesman Scott Henderson said the company is happy the appeal is moving forward, reports indicate, but that it is disappointed the court didn’t stay the ban. The Super Bowl Ad Case has been on the agenda of the CRTC and the Courts for some time.

The change is supposed to take effect with the next Super Bowl, February 5, 2017. Bell holds the exclusive rights to carry the NFL championship in Canada until the 2018-2019 season.