SimSub for Super Bowl dismissed by Appeals Court

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SimSub for Super Bowl dismissed by Appeals Court

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A federal court has dismissed Bell Media, National Football League’s and our associations appeal of the CRTC’s simsub decision, which blocked the media owner from substituting its Canadian ads and feeds into the U.S. broadcast of the Super Bowl. The CRTC had made a final ruling on simsub in August 2016, which Bell brought to the Federal Court of Appeals, arguing the CRTC had interfered the rights granted to it by the National Football League to be Canada’s exclusive broadcaster of the Super Bowl.

Even one of the three judges from the Appeals Court noted that the dismissal of Bell Media’s appeal to reinstate simultaneous substitution for Super Bowl was an 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.”

On behalf of The Canadian Media Directors’ Council, President Janet Callaghan couldn’t agree more. “This decision is just another setback for a misguided ruling based on a very small sample of Canadians. It comes at a time in a competitive marketplace with direct-to-consumer subscription models like Netflix, where large commercial audiences for broadcasters, like those delivered by Super Bowl, are irreplaceable.” Callaghan reiterates that the audience in question is wholly Canadian, and represents a lost opportunity to monetize these viewers, to the benefit of Canadian business.

Our members join with all the stakeholders included this decision: Bell Media, the NFL Canadian advertisers and the creative community, and hope that the CRTC in its deliberations over the next 6 months, will include a closer look at the Sim-Sub Super Bowl ruling, and delete the irony of the situation, with a decision based on respect for the Canadian broadcasting industry.

Iconic brands of Superbowl such as BMO, Scotiabank and Sun Life Financial, will be immensely impacted by this decision. There is significant business value for these companies to create content experiences tailored to Canadian fans of Superbowl and at scale.

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