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Super Bowl Ads: Why You Won't See Them In Canada

01/27/2014 09:04 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 09:59 EST

It's an annual tradition: Canadians complaining that they can't watch the much-hyped commercials that air during the Super Bowl and seem to create as much ballyhoo as the game itself.

As Groundhog Day swings around this Sunday, so too will the carping from Canadian households from coast-to-coast as they are destined to watch homegrown ad content, instead of the pumped-up U.S. broadcast by Fox.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is generally who takes the blame for the cross-cultural commercial headache—but no more.

A Twitter exchange between a customer and the Rogers help desk where the latter pointed the finger at the commission, pushed CRTC chairperson Jean-Pierre Blais to fight back, penning an open letter to Rogers clarifying the situation.

In an effort to ensure Canadians do not receive contradictory information from the CRTC and Rogers, it would be appreciated if you could remind your customer service representatives that broadcasters choose whether to substitute signals and that both the broadcaster and the distributor are responsible for the quality of the substitution.

At the heart of the issue is "simultaneous substitution," a system that allows Canadian broadcasters to request that cable and satellite TV distributors swap out international feeds for their own, if they happen to be showing the same programming at the same time, explained The Globe and Mail.

This substitution rule is something the CRTC has set up for Canadian broadcasters, but its use is entirely optional, as Blais noted in his rather acerbic letter.

Blais' letter was inspired by a Twitter exchange between an American married to a Canadian living in London, Ont. and the person manning the Rogers helpline account.

See the exchange below:

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