A lot of Canadians care about the NFL but even more Canadians care about the Super Bowl ads. Thanks to the CRTC, at the latest by 2017, Canadians will be able to watch U.S. ads on Super Bowl Sunday, even on CTV.
If Bell agrees to do so in 2016, the ban could start earlier, but this will not affect the commercials this Sunday.
"The Super Bowl is something special," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in an interview. "The advertisement around the Super Bowl is part of the spectacle, there's hype and has been for decades before the event and during the event. It is very much a special case."
NBC is offering an online option to check out Super Bowl ads at NBCSports.com/ads during the game. The site will likely be limited to U.S. ISPs but Canadians should try and access the Web site.
Traditionally, Canadians have had 2 ways to watch U.S. Super Bowl commercials in real time.
- Have access to U.S. TV via antennas.
- Find a satellite feed that didn't block all the possible network feeds in SD or HD.
The commercials aren't the only concern with sim subbing. Canadians regularly complain about losing access to the programming where Canadian commercial breaks last too long.
Very few Canadians have direct access to U.S. TV signals without cable. The transition to digital signals reduced the range. Windsor, Toronto, and folks south of Montréal have the best shot at reaching U.S. signals via an antenna.
The Super Bowl airs on NBC in the United States this season, so start aiming your antennas or channel guides at your local NBC affiliate.
Those in Windsor and the surrounding area can watch on Channel 4 WDIV from Detroit. In Southern Ontario around Toronto and Hamilton, you can pull in Channel 2 WGRZ-TV Buffalo.
Those in Montréal and points south to the U.S. border will have to rely on Channel 5 WPTZ-TV, licensed to Burlington, VT but also serving Plattsburgh, NY.
If we missed a Canadian community that can pick up a NBC OTA signal, please let us know in the comments section below.
As we've noted last year and earlier this season, the Seattle Seahawks have a strong Canadian presence with punter Jon Ryan and tight end Luke Willson. Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Chris Matthews is also on the Seahawks squad.
New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner won a Grey Cup with Calgary and Super Bowl with Seattle. Well, Browner has a ring with Seattle. Browner was suspended over missing drug tests and missed last year's Super Bowl.
Lenny Kravitz will be part of the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIX. Kravitz was the halftime artist at the 2007 Grey Cup at Rogers Centre in Toronto. But Kravitz is only the 3rd music act to perform at halftime at both football championships.
Shania Twain completed the perfecta in slightly more than 2 months. Twain performed at the 2002 Grey Cup in Edmonton on November 24 and Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26, 2003. She performed "Up" at both events.
Given that Super Bowls are in February, no other artist can beat that quick turnaround time.
The Black Eyed Peas played the 2005 Grey Cup in Vancouver and Super Bowl XLV in 2011. The band played "Pump It" at both events.
Of the 3 music acts that have completed the feat, only Twain is Canadian.
Canadians benefit from time shifting, so they can watch U.S. and Canadian stations in multiple markets, depending on their cable/satellite options. The four major U.S. markets for these stations are Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and Seattle — 2 of those are playing in Super Bowl XLIX.
Win or lose, you can expect extended coverage from WHDH/Boston and KING/Seattle, the NBC stations in the teams' home cities.
The rivalry is also regional among Canadians. The Seattle Seahawks have quite a following in British Columbia and the New England Patriots are very popular in Eastern Canada, especially the Maritimes.
Canadians do occasionally get a Super Bowl ad just for Canada. This year, Hyundai Canada will be one of those sponsors. (Full disclosure: my day job is involved in the world of cars.)