Supreme Court ruling nixes U.S. ads for Canadian Super Bowl viewers
The Supreme Court of Canada has blown the whistle on a federal regulatory decision that allowed viewers to watch keenly anticipated American commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast.
In its ruling Thursday, the high court said the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission strayed beyond the scope of its authority under the Broadcasting Act when it took action to ensure the U.S. ads could be seen.
For almost half a century, the practice known as simultaneous substitution has been a central feature of the Canadian broadcasting system.
It permits a television station that purchases exclusive Canadian rights to a U.S. program to require that cable and satellite companies substitute incoming U.S. network signals showing the same program with the Canadian station’s own signal.
As a result, local viewers see only the Canadian station’s signal — including commercials — no matter which channel they watch.
The idea is to ensure the Canadian broadcaster can offer advertisers exclusive access to Canadian viewers and maximize revenues.