Bell appeals CRTC decision on Super Bowl ads


OTTAWA – One of Canada’s media giants has launched an appeal of the broadcast regulator’s ban on substituting Canadian advertising over American ads during the Superbowl.

Bell Media (TSX:BCE) has filed a motion with the Federal Court of Appeal seeking leave to appeal a Jan. 29 decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that would prevent so-called simultaneous substitution of ads during the NFL final.

Bell claims the CRTC acted in error by singling out Super Bowl ads for the ban while declaring simultaneous substitution, known as simsub, important to the broadcasting system.

Simulcasting of Canadian ads over U.S. ones during the Super Bowl has been a pet peeve for many viewers.

But the broadcasters have argued they need the revenues generated by the ads to pay for the Canadian rights to air the game.

The CRTC also banned simsub for specialty channels, which affects live sports programming on other networks, and warned it would impose penalties for mismatched ads that run over top of important points in the broadcasts.

BCE Inc., which owns Bell Media, filed an appeal late last month of another CRTC decision involving how Bell charges its own customers for using its mobile TV app.