NFL Loses Battle to Stop US Super Bowl Ads on Canadian TV


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The Federal Court of Appeal ruled Canadians can view hyped American commercials during the big game.


The NFL has lost a Canadian appeals court battle to stop the CTV network from being forced to air United States Super Bowl telecast commercials.

CTV-parent Bell Canada sought to overturn a 2015 ruling from the CRTC, Canada’s TV watchdog, that bars the broadcaster from substituting its own TV feed and advertising for the U.S. signal during the Super Bowl. The Federal Court of Appeals ruled against the NFL and NFL Productions by upholding the CRTC ban on homegrown ads replacing glitzy American spots on Canadian broadcasts of the annual championship game.

“The appellants argue, and I agree, that there is a certain irony that legislation that has the protection of the Canadian broadcasting industry and its employees as one of its important objectives is being used to allow for the broadcasting of American ads during the Super Bowl to the apparent detriment of the Canadian industry and its employees,” Justice David Near wrote in a Dec. 18 decision for the court obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Justice Near added that, while the NFL as a copyright holder has a right to license its program to Bell Canada for the Canadian market, the pro league cannot dictate how and which commercials can be aired during the local telecast. Elsewhere on the TV dial, Canada’s decades-long simultaneous substitution rules allow local broadcasters like CTV to still replace the U.S. feed for popular American shows like The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family and air local commercials to boost revenues.



  1. Now I’ve seen everything. People fighting for the right to view foreign commercials. Commercials! It’s bad enough that the Canadian commercials are annoying and irrelevant, but to view US commercials? C’mon. If Bell was smart, and they’re not, they would not even bother to carry US sports programs. But they will. And then they will complain that they need subsidies from the taxpayers because their business model is not sustainable. Sheesh.

  2. Blah blah blah globalization. No way. We want our very own commercials. So just allow ads that sell products on both sides of the 49th. Take Target for instance,oops bad example. Take the Ford F150 Lease for$199 per month for 36 months (US) Lease for $399 per month for 72 months (Canada) Better stick with Doritos they cost about the same both sides. Not really. Wait what about a dozen Budweisers. US $5 Canada $18 It just isnt fair.

  3. In America? The Superbowl has become a huge tradition. From the start to the finish. The commercials you speak of are a huge part of the broadcast day. Many companies debut products, shows, events and pay millions for a large single day audience. New tv shows sometimes will air post game just to get the trickle down effect of the left-over audience. Humor plays a big part and becoming commercial of the year and can garner huge amounts of extra hits on YouTube and so forth at zero cost to the company. Many women who could give a dam about the game watch it just for the commercials. Companies are hired to use technology so see how the commercials do right down to the millisecond. Add in the fact that a good product with a solid/funny commercial can do wonders for their companies. Add in that you can only buy four spots, so you have a very little repeat factor. So, tell me again why I would want to view a boring over-played Ford 150 spot from a Canadian feed put in high rotation?

  4. @tim murphy. Can you say marketing boards. Can you say crtc. Can you say government interference up your whazzoo. In Canada we need at least an office building crammed to the rafters with over paid over pensioned lazy good for nothing bureaucrats to tell us when where what and why . And were stupid enough to fund this endless parade of public sector trough dwellers with some of the highest tax rates in the free world.
    Thats why you get F 150 till you puke.


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