The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) order to ban simultaneous substitution (simsub) for the Super Bowl went into effect on February 5, 2017 in spite of ACA’s multiple interventions and legal advances from both Bell Media and the National Football League (NFL).

ACA constantly opposed this decision because of its potential to cause irreparable harm to the foundation of the Canadian broadcasting system. The negative economic impact of the decision significantly outweighed the complaints (reportedly fewer than 100) of Canadian viewers.

We intervened in the Federal Court of Appeal case between NFL/Bell Media and the Attorney General of Canada in 2017. This was a key step in ensuring marketers were represented in this case. Disappointingly, Federal Court dismissed the appeal but the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear the case.

As a result of ACA’s actions, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in our favour, on December 19, 2019, quashing the CRTC simsub order for the annual Super Bowl broadcast. As a result, advertisers are once again be able to showcase their Canadian commercials during the Super Bowl.

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Member Alerts

(December 23, 2019) Supreme Court Reverses CRTC Simultaneous Substitution Ordermembers only
(May 18, 2017) ACA Joins Legal Appeal Of CRTC’s Super Bowl Decisionmembers only
(February 26, 2015) CRTC decision harms marketersmembers only


Relevant Links and Resources

(May 2017) ACA Memorandum of Fact and Law
(November 3, 2016) Canadian television, simultaneous substitution, and the Super Bowl: History, economics, and public policy


Op/eds and Selected News Coverage

(April 29, 2019) SCC decision could focus on CRTC’s reach
(August 1, 2017) Canadian creators and advertisers, Unifor, the National Football League and Bell renew their appeal to the CRTC to rescind its Super Bowl simsub ban
(March 16, 2017) Financial Post Op/ed by Ron Lund: Here’s the real proof that the CRTC’s Super Bowl policy harmed Canadian businesses
(February 2, 2017) CBC: Are the Academy Awards next? U.S. Super Bowl commercials in Canada test future of CRTC ad policy
(February 5, 2016) Financial Post Op/ed by Ron Lund: Why Super Bowl advertisements in Canada should be Canadian
(July 22, 2015) Media in Canada by Judy Davey: Opinion: CRTC clearly offside with Super Bowl decision
(March 2, 2015) Globe and Mail: Bell appeals CRTC decision to air U.S. Super Bowl commercials
(January 30, 2015) Marketing: Media Industry Decries CRTC’s ‘Loose-Cannon’ Simsub Call
(September 24, 2014) Marketing: CMDC And ACA Urge CRTC To Retain Simsub
(September 19, 2014) ACA: ACA Highlights Advertising’s Contribution To Canada’s Broadcasting System At CRTC ‘Let’s Talk’ Tv Hearing


ACA Correspondence With Ministers, MPS and CRTC:

(March 23, 2017) All Members of Parliament, re: Sim Sub order
(March 9, 2017) CRTC’s response to our letter sent in January, 2017
(December 12, 2016) Prime Minister of Canada and other Ministers, re: CRTC Simultaneous Substitution Order
(March 3, 2016) Secretary General, CRTC, re: Notice of Consultation
(March 25, 2015) CRTC Commissioner letter to ACA, re: Simultaneous Substitution Decision
(February 18, 2015) Minister of Canadian Heritage, re; CRTC decision
(February 17, 2015) CRTC Commissioner, re: CRTC decision

Have a question?

For more information, contact:
Ron Lund
President and CEO
416-964-0700 / 1-800-565-0109 /.