NFL continues fight for sim sub

The league’s Canadian managing director has written to the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
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The NFL is taking its fight to keep simultaneous substitution on the airwaves in Canada during the Super Bowl to the next level, writing a letter about the case to Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton.

In the letter, David Thomson, managing director, NFL Canada, asks that the Government of Canada take “immediate steps” to prevent the CRTC’s orders around stopping sim sub during the Super Bowl from taking effect.

Thomson calls the one off sim sub order around the Super Bowl “arbitrary and discriminatory,” and says the CRTC has interfered with the contractual rights between a U.S. and a Canadian company with the decision.

“If American ads for American products – many of which are not even available for purchase in Canada – are allowed to air on Canadian television in place of Canadian ads by Canadian creators for a Canadian audience, the economic consequences will be significant,” said Thomson in the letter.

It’s not the first time the league has gotten involved in the case. The NFL and Bell Media, who is the current rights holder for the game, have also filed appeals with the Federal Court of Appeal.

Due to the urgency of the matter, Thomson tells MacNaughton that he is able to meet in person or by phone in the Nov. 23 letter. No word back from the NFL on whether a meeting or call has taken place.

The CRTC’s order banning sim sub during the Super Bowl is set to take effect in 2017. The CRTC first announced plans to discontinue simsub in January last year, just prior to the Super Bowl event in 2015, during the Let’s Talk TV hearing.

The regulator issued an order confirming the decision in August, calling the U.S. ads that will now be seen in Canada “integral to the event.”

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