Super Bowl Boulevard by Sean Curry (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Super Bowl Boulevard by Sean Curry (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


CRTC Rejects Bell Request for Private Meeting On Super Bowl Simsub Decision

The CRTC has rejected a request from Bell for private meetings with some or all of the CRTC Commissioners to discuss the recent simultaneous substitution decision involving the Super Bowl. According to recently obtained correspondence (posted below), Bell wrote privately to the CRTC Commissioners over the weekend to request an opportunity to discuss the ruling with each or all of them. The CRTC responded immediately, noting that the decision was the result of a public process that is still ongoing and that it would be inappropriate for Bell to hold private meetings with the Commissioners to discuss the decision.  The full correspondence is posted below:

De :  Envoyé : Sunday, February 01, 2015 09:09 AM À : Blais, Jean-Pierre; Pentefountas, Tom; Menzies, Peter; Molnar, Candice; Shoan, Raj; Dupras, Yves; Simpson, Stephen Objet : Impacts of Super Bowl Simsub Decision
Good morning Commissioners and apologies in advance for communicating on a weekend.
As most of you know, I do not often email Commissioners about substantive regulatory issues and I have rarely (if ever) communicated to everyone at the same time to convey concern about a decision.
You have undoubtedly heard our perspective on the Super Bowl decision and you also had the benefit of the overwhelming evidence presented at the hearing showing the significant impacts that loss of simsub, even for the Super Bowl, would have on Canadian advertisers, promotional opportunities for Canadian content and on Bell Media’s revenues.  I have attached below two press releases and an article directly relevant to theses issues.
While I may often disagree with CRTC rulings, I always respect that the Commission has to take the broader public interest into account.  In this case however, I really do believe the negative impacts to advertisers, Canadian content and Bell Media significantly outweigh the convenience to some viewers of being able to watch American ads within the broadcast itself.
I would appreciate any opportunity to further discuss this issue with each or all of you.
Best regards,
CRTC Response
From: Laizner, Christianne 
Sent: February-02-15 2:00 PM
To: ‘
Subject: Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-25
Dear Mr. ,
Your correspondence of 1 February 2015 to Commissioners has been forwarded to me for response. In that correspondence, you indicated your disagreement with the Commission’s decision regarding simultaneous substitution and the Super Bowl. You requested meetings with each or all of the Commissioners to discuss your views on this decision.
I would note that the decision in question was reached following an extensive public proceeding which examined many options with respect to simultaneous substitution including its complete elimination. The Commission considered all of the evidence and submissions put before it, in that public proceeding. I would further note, as indicated in the Commission’s decision, there will be further public process to implement the Commission’s decision via regulation. As such, the implementation of this decision is still before the Commission. In addition, the Commission has not yet issued its decisions on the many other outstanding issues from the public proceeding.
In light of the above, it would be inappropriate for you to hold private meetings with Commissioners either individually or collectively to discuss your views on this decision. It would be unfair to other parties to the public proceeding for Commissioners to hold off the record conversations with one party with a view to altering a decision already taken.
Christianne Laizner
Avocate générale principale / Directrice exécutive
Senior General Counsel / Executive Director
Secteur juridique / Legal Sector
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes /
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2


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  2. Let’s see who sent this email. If this is authentic, it would seem to be highly inappropriate.

    Why don’t you publish it intact, Michael? People should know who at Bell takes responsibility for such a communication and where the buck stops.

  3. If they are so worried about local television why don’t they broadcast the Grey Cup on local TV instead of on cable?

  4. Thanks, Patouf:

    Mirko Bibic
    Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer and Executive Vice President, BCE Inc.


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