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Super Bowl: Canada's CTV Sells Out Advertising

Ray Lewis Super Bowl Victory - H 2013
Getty Images

The bad news? Canadians NFL fans still won't be able to watch the oft-hyped American commercials -- and it's not because they're too risque.

TORONTO – CTV has sold out its ad inventory for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

The Canadian broadcaster secured an average CA$168,000 ($150,500) for 30 seconds of commercial airtime, up 2 percent from last year, according to industry estimates.

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That's a giant haul for CTV because the NFL championship game is among the most watched shows on Canadian TV, even if local viewers won't see glitzy American commercials, including Arnold Schwarzenegger playing ping pong for Bud Light, or the Full House reunion in the Dannon Oikos yogurt ad.

CTV will air the Fox feed of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks game live on Sunday, including pregame festivities, but the network will swap out American ads and replace them with high-profile Canadian commercials from major local brands like Labatt Breweries, Ford of Canada, McDonald's and Nissan Canada.

"Due to simulcast, we air the Canadian commercials -- even if you want an American signal, you'll see Canadian advertisers," Perry MacDonald, vp conventional sales at CTV parent Bell Media, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

The absence of U.S. commercials is also due to multinational brands looking to target the Canadian market with a local campaign, or because an American commercial won't jibe with Canadian consumer tastes. "If it's a new product or new production launch unique to Canada, there's a lot of money behind it," MacDonald said.

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Alternatively, the creative may differ for Canada because onscreen talent is only cleared to run stateside, or a brand is targeting a sales campaign or a price point for the U.S. only.

"Maybe there's cultural differences, or messaging, or differences in a promotion, or dates for a product launch that are unique to Canada," MacDonald said.

All of which is a bonus to CTV, as the Super Bowl last year drew an average 7.3 million viewers on CTV and RDS in Quebec.