NFL, Canada's CTV hopeful for favorable Super Bowl ad ruling

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The company that owns the right to broadcast the Super Bowl in Canada and the NFL went back to court Wednesday in an effort to reverse a decision banning the substitution of Canadian ads over American ones during the game.

Bell Media, which owns CTV, and the NFL formally filed notices of appeal of a recent court ruling upholding the ban, but made clear they're hoping the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will intervene before the case is heard.

"Today's submission is just the latest procedure in an ongoing legal process," Bell Media said in a statement to the Canadian Press.

"But there is a growing community of voices highlighting the negative impact of this decision on the Canadian creative and broadcasting industry."

Citing complaints from Canadian viewers, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled in 2015 that simultaneous substitution of Canadian spots over the star-studded American ads played during the Super Bowl would no longer be allowed, effective the first NFL championship game in 2017, set to air Feb. 5 from Houston.

In late October, the Federal Court of Appeal allowed an appeal of an earlier court decision upholding the ban, but denied a stay of the ruling until the case could be heard.

Bell and the NFL have asked for an order setting aside the CRTC decision, arguing that the regulator has no jurisdiction to prohibit the simultaneous substitution of the Super Bowl ads under its own so-called "sim sub" regulations, and that the ban contravenes the Copyright Act.

Simultaneous substitution occurs when the signal of an American TV station being broadcast in Canada is replaced by the signal of a local Canadian broadcaster.


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