Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Foles holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. Will Canadian fans of big-budget, American Super Bowl ads get to see them while the NFL championship game is played next February, or will that be ruled out of bounds after just two seasons? THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O’Meara

Canadian Super Bowl ads could play during NFL championship game

New trade deal could result in resumption of Canadian Super Bowl ads

Will Canadian fans of big-budget, American Super Bowl ads get to see them while the NFL championship game is played next February, or will that be ruled out of bounds after just two seasons?

Canada’s new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, known as USMCA, obliges Ottawa to get rid of a two-year-old rule that prohibits cable and satellite companies from blocking U.S. signals during the annual event.

The rule was put in place in response to public feedback that many Canadians preferred to see the American version of the Super Bowl broadcasts.

But fans of Canadian advertisers are hoping domestic ads will muscle out their competition for the first time since 2016, the last year that simultaneous substitution of U.S. signals was allowed during the Super Bowl.

Until Sunday, when Canadian and American politicians agreed on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Bell Media had failed to restore rules that allowed it to sell Super Bowl time without U.S. competition.

RELATED: Alessia Cara named as halftime performer for ‘18 Grey Cup

Then came USMCA, specifically Annex 15-D in the chapter covering cross-border trade in services, which binds Canada to rescind a special Super Bowl provision established by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

So far, the government hasn’t said whether it will overrule the CRTC soon enough for Bell Media to score with advertisers ahead of the Feb. 4, 2019, Super Bowl game.

Asked what Bell Media is telling advertisers, spokesman Scott Henderson replied in an email: “We continue to be open for business.”

Judy Davey, vice-president of media policy for the Association of Canadian Advertisers, which has been a Bell ally and intervenor in at the Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada, said in an interview that she’s hopeful.

“We’d like to see it implemented ASAP so that Canadian commercials can be seen in 2019.”

ACA has argued there are several reasons to use simultaneous substitution to replace television advertisements originating from the United States with ads coming from Canada.

“It gives Canadian advertisers a chance to reach Canadian consumers, which helps our Canadian economy,” Davey said Wednesday.

“There are (also) some ads that can run in the U.S. that are not acceptable by Canadian advertising standards and there are a number of brands and products that aren’t even available in Canada.”

To the argument that the Super Bowl ads have become part of the total sports and entertainment experience surrounding the event, Davey said that they can now be seen online even before the game.

“It’s not as if people don’t have access to the ads.”

RELATED: U.S. president cheers new USMCA trade deal, heralds end of NAFTA era

She said the ACA — as well as other organizations including Bell and several unions — want to prevent the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission from extending the simsub ban beyond the Super Bowl.

Among other things, the trade deal — which has yet to be ratified by any of three countries — says “Canada may not accord the program treatment less favourable than the treatment accorded to other programs originating in the United States retransmitted in Canada.”

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Sadies slide into the City on Nov. 6th

Popular band gearing up for a show at The Hideout

Recreational pot is now officially legal

Here are some things you need to know and how legal recreational pot will affect you in Red Deer

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

WATCH: Canadian Finals Rodeo only two weeks away

Mayor calls CFR an opportunity to showcase Red Deer

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Most Read