CRTC Orders US Super Bowl Ads to be Seen in Canada


Despite appeal by Bell and NFL, ‘No SimSub’ Order could start in 2017

by Emily Jackson, Financial Post | August 19, 2016                                                                               


The rule only applies to rebroadcasts of U.S. stations, so Canadian stations playing the event can continue to play Canadian ads.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


TORONTO — Canada’s broadcast regulator has officially changed its rules to prevent broadcasters from swapping out U.S. commercials for local ads during the Super Bowl despite an ongoing legal dispute over its right to block Canadian advertising during the country’s most-watched television event.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a distribution order Friday to stop simultaneous substitution during the National Football League championship event as of 2017. Simsub, as it’s known, temporarily replaces the signal of an American channel rebroadcast in Canada with a local channel showing the same program and is used to show local commercials.

This could mean Canadians will be able to watch U.S. ads — the CRTC dubbed these an “integral element of the event” — during the Super Bowl for the first time next year. The CRTC first announced plans to get rid of simsub during the Super Bowl in 2015 citing consumers’ desire to see the flashier American ads. The rule only applies to rebroadcasts of U.S. stations, so Canadian stations playing the event can continue to play Canadian ads.




  1. Bell’s right – it shouldn’t just apply to the SuperBowl – it should apply to ALL sports and special events that Canadian broadcasters don’t have anything to do with except to throw in their own commercials and promos! The only reason they don’t get very many complaints is that Canadians have given up complaining about it! We realized a long time ago that the CRTC was, in the words of Mr. Burns: “As impotent as a Nevada State Boxing Commissioner!”

  2. Excellent! If only the CRTC would apply this rule to ALL simulcasts, the local broadcasters would be forced to stop this lazy approach to programming – in other words – stop relying on US programming (that we already pay for but can’t watch because the US signal is deleted) and produce watchable local shows other than “news” – which we are told loses money.

  3. It’s a BS ruling. The idea should be to protect Canadian broadcast jobs and advertisers. The broadcasters pay for the programming, and they pay for it from the advertisers they have. Sad day for TV jobs.

  4. Out with ALL simulcasts! And yes, Rick, I gave up complaining about it after the CRTC told me, presumably with a straight face, that simulcasting was necessary to “protect our culture and heritage.”

  5. I agree with Rick 100%. All sports and special events. Dont agree with you Toad, you want protectionist policies like the Dairy Producers get for example, a guaranteed price for their product, now thats what I call bs. If Canadian producers cant produce a good product, whether it be entertainment or cheese, then they should find another profession.


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