No U.S. Super Bowl ads in Canada

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TORONTO -- When Canadian TV viewers tune in this Sunday's Super Bowl game, they'll be missing one key, much-hyped element: the commercials.

In what's becoming an annual rite, Canadian TV viewers are up in arms over the fact that they'll be watching homegrown ads rather than their glitzy American counterparts when Global Television airs the NFL championship game here Sunday.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission placed a notice on its Web site Friday explaining Canada's simultaneous substitution rules, which will see Global Television replace the CBS feed -- and air its own commercials.

CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel said the explanation is aimed at easing the hue and cry among Canadian TV viewers that grows to a pitch each year on the day after the Super Bowl telecast.

"It's the busiest time of the year in (CRTC) client services," Carmel said of the irate phone calls and e-mail messages urging that Canadians be allowed to watch the CBS feed, rather than the Global Television simulcast.

"Canadians feel it's a constitutional right to watch American ads," Carmel added.

Canadians can find the commercials on YouTube and Web sites like aol.ca/superbowl soon after they air on CBS.

But Carmel insists the pre-game hype surrounding expensive Americans ads is enough to drive Canadians to distraction over what simultaneous substitution rules deny them.

Those homegrown rules mean Canadians will see a Super Bowl telecast originating from Global Television, at the same time that the championship game airs south of the border.

The host Canadian broadcaster replaces the ads seen in the U.S. with homegrown ads developed for the Canadian feed.

The exercise allows Global, which holds exclusive rights to the Super Bowl game in Canada, to profit by selling commercial air-time for the telecast.

"Signal substitution is done to bring millions of advertising dollars back into the Canadian broadcasting system," the CRTC says on its Web site. "Advertising revenues are also what enable Canadian broadcasters to bring you programming such as the Super Bowl."

But homegrown ads don't mean Canadians will necessarily be running to the bathroom or refrigerator during commercial breaks.

Pepsi Co., brewer Labatt Brewing and cerealmaker Quaker are among a host of domestic advertisers that will unveil new 30-second spots for Sunday's telecast.
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