CRTC reminds Canadians why they won’t see Super Bowl ads on TV

January 30, 2014  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

CRTC releases first report for ‘Let’s Talk TV: A conversation with Canadians’

Canadian viewers upset about having to watch endless CTV promos instead of the latest 30-second masterpieces from the likes of Go Daddy and Budweiser is a Super Bowl Sunday ritual, right up there with overwrought renditions of the U.S. national anthem and dud halftime shows.

With TV’s marquee event just three days away, the CRTC today issued a refresher on signal substitution, “Super Bowl TV commercials –why are the ads different?.”

The CRTC says that signal substitution “benefits Canadian broadcasters, businesses and viewers” by protecting the rights of broadcasters, generating ad dollars, promoting local broadcasting and creation and benefiting the Canadian economy.

According to the CRTC, signal substitution generated $200 million for the Canadian broadcast system in 2010. “By replacing American ads with Canadian ads, signal substitution results in advertising money being generated in the Canadian market and benefiting the Canadian economy,” it said.

Signal substitution was among the viewer complaints received by the CRTC in the first phase of its “Let’s Talk TV: A conversation with Canadians” initiative, which received more than 1,300 comments.

While viewers’ concerns were largely related to poor timing that caused them to miss the beginning and/or the end of a program, missing ad content – particularly during the Super Bowl – was also an issue.

The Super Bowl airs this Sunday on CTV and Bell Media’s French-language sports service RDS.

CTV said earlier this week that it has exceeded its sales objectives for the game, with a full slate of advertising partners. Labatt Breweries of Canada is returning as a presenting sponsor, with Ford of Canada, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and Nissan Canada returning as quarter sponsors.

Advertising partners for this year’s telecast include Bell, Bank of Montreal, Disney, H&R Block, H&M, Kia, Mazda, Telus and Wonderful Pistachios. Acknowledging the game’s status as “television’s premier promotional outlet,” CTV said it is also planning to use the broadcast to promote several of its marquee properties.

The creative will support upcoming CTV broadcasts including the Oscars, Masterchef Canada and Spun Out, as well as the Space series Orphan Black and TSN’s Tradecentre and Masters coverage, as well as a new slate of NFL games coming next season.

Last year’s game drew a combined 7.38 million viewers, making it the most-watched broadcast of the year.

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