OTTAWA — Former Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is adding his voice to growing calls on Canada's broadcast regulator to reverse a decision banning the substitution of Canadian ads over big-budget American spots during the Super Bowl.
Rubio, alongside fellow Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, has written to Canada's ambassador in Washington urging Canada to change the policy.
The letter warns the decision sets a harmful precedent that could undermine Canada-U.S. relations.
Marco Rubio, at the time a Republican presidential hopeful, speaks during the 2016 Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, DC, December 3, 2015. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission barred the airing of Canadian ads in place of American commercials in response to complaints from Canadian viewers.
The NFL, which sold the Canadian rights to the game, and CTV, which bought them and recoups the cost by selling domestic ads, vigorously opposed the move.
Bell Media, which owns CTV, lost a legal battle with the CRTC in September when the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an application to overturn the policy. The NFL, which stands to lose money on the sale of Canadian broadcast rights to the Super Bowl, intervened on behalf of Bell in that case.
The decision has also been opposed by U.S. federal commerce officials and Canadian advertisers, who say the snap decision is costing them money on their biggest day of the year.
Two Liberal MPs, Bob Nault and Wayne Easter, have also written letters to several policy-makers saying the decision is costing the Canadian economy tens of millions of dollars, and have asked for a policy change before the Feb. 5 game.
— With a file from Huffington Post Canada