Super Bowl

Canadian Viewers Win Right to See U.S. Super Bowl Ads

'Simultaneous Substitution' Had Earned $200 Million -- and Complaints

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Canadians will be able to watch U.S. Super Bowl ads after the country's telecommunications regulator ended a practice of letting broadcasters substitute their own ads during the football game.

"Canadians have told us loud and clear: advertising is part of the spectacle associated with this event," Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, said in a speech today in London, Ontario.

Ads broadcast in the U.S. during previous Super Bowl games weren't available to viewers in Canada because broadcasters had permission under a program called "simultaneous substitution" to run their own content in foreign feeds such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars.

The changes will take effect for the National Football League's 2017 Super Bowl game.

The practice generates C$250 million ($200 million) annually to the Canadian broadcasting industry and a barrage of complaints to the regulator, Mr. Blais said. About 8 million Canadian football fans watched last year's Super Bowl, he said.

The program won't be completely dismantled because the revenue is needed to create jobs in Canada, Mr. Blais said.

~ Bloomberg News ~