Supreme Court overturns decision that allowed U.S. Super Bowl ads in Canadian broadcast

Canadians hoping to tune in to American Super Bowl commercials again this year are in for a letdown.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Canadians hoping to tune in to American Super Bowl commercials again this year are in for a letdown, as the Supreme Court has officially overturned the decision that allows Canadians to view the advertisements during official broadcasts of the event.

In 2013, Bell Canada Media had officially secured an exclusive licence from the National Football League allowing them to show the Super Bowl in Canada, selling ad time to Canadian companies who wanted to broadcast their advertisements to both US and Canadian stations.

This led to Canadians being snubbed from viewing the commercials, oftentimes meaning that Canadians would be missing out of multi-million dollar commercials which often generated a lot of buzz.

According to the most recent figures from Numeris, 4.3 million Canadians watched the 2019 Super Bowl.

This changed in 2016, though, as federal broadcast regulators opted to allow U.S. commercials in Canada, as showing Canadian ads was not in the public’s best interest, reports CBC.

According to Bell, the decision to now show Canadian ads costed them millions in potential revenue, which led to their appeal which ultimately led to the rejection of the challenge by the Federal Court of Appeals. According to the Court, it was “Parliament’s intention that the regulator would describe how best to balance competing policy objectives related to broadcasting in Canada.”

This means Canada won’t see the likes of any more potential classics, such as Budweiser’s timeless WASSUP! commercial.


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