Canada’s Supreme Court has overturned a decision that allowed viewers to see U.S. commercials during the Super Bowl.
Bell Canada received an exclusive license from the NFL in 2013 to broadcast the Super Bowl in Canada and sold ad time to Canadian businesses to be inserted into the program on both Canadian and American stations. The practice denied Canadian viewers a chance to see U.S. commercials that often generated as much buzz as the game.
In 2016, Canada’s federal broadcast regulator decided it was not in the public interest to substitute Canadian ads for U.S. ones on American channels available in Canada.
Bell said the regulator’s decision cost it viewers and millions of dollars in revenue, prompting an appeal from the broadcaster and the NFL.
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal rejected the challenge, saying Parliament intended the regulator to decide how best to balance competing policy objectives related to broadcasting in Canada.
The Supreme Court now has overturned that decision.
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