CRTC Chair Says TV Industry is Misleading Canadians About Super Bowl Ads

by Istvan Fekete on January 29, 2014

We all try to avoid watching ads – although there are some exceptions – but there are some occasions when some commercial, or the lack of one, captures the attention. This was the case with the Super Bowl: although Canadians watch the FOX network, they see CTV commercials on their TV set. Okay, this may not sound like an issue for many of us, but the misconceptions around it captured the attention of Jean-Pierre Blais, the chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), who wrote a letter to Rogers to set things clear, asking them to stop misleading Canadians (via Canada.com).

The whole thing started after a customer asked Rogers on Twitter about the commercials: “Why do I see CTV ads instead of the US ads? @RogersHelp replied to the customer saying that this was due to the CRTC’s rules, and there is no way to watch the Fox feed.

Five days later, Keith Pelley, Rogers Media President, and David Purdy, Senior VP of Content, were facing a letter penned by Blais, pointing to the Twitter exchange, and expressing his frustration about how Rogers misleads its customers.

“As you are aware, there are a number of misconceptions and a certain frustration among Canadian television viewers regarding simultaneous substitution. These are often expressed at this time of year—specifically, during the NFL playoffs and following the broadcast of the Super Bowl game.”

The CRTC also republished its annual advisory for Canadians who are interested in why the Super Bowl ads are different in Canada. As the document highlights, the ads are different because Canadian TV stations pay for the right to broadcast the Super Bowl in the country, and to finance that expense, they sell separate advertising during the game, which targets a Canadian audience.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Dale Jenkins January 30, 2014 at 9:24 am

Just put up an OTA antenna if you’re close enough to the border (and everyone in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal should be able to easily receive the American signals). The picture quality is better as it isn’t as compressed, and there are no simsubs. Plus it’s completely legal, and there are no monthly fees! A win-win-win-win situation all around!!!

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