Broadcasting Letter Addressed to Kevin Goldstein (BCE Inc.)
Ottawa, 8 November 2018
VP, Regulatory Affairs, Content and Distribution
200 Queen Street West
Re: Part 1 Application by BCE Inc. to rescind Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-334 and Broadcasting Order CRTC 2016-335, Simultaneous substitution for the Super Bowl
The Commission is in receipt of BCE’s Part 1 application in which it is requested that the Commission temporarily suspend the operation of Broadcasting Order 2016-335 (the Order) at least until after the broadcast of Super Bowl LIII on 3 February 2019 so as to allow BCE to carry out simultaneous substitution of the originating US commercials with Canadian commercials. In support of its application, BCE cited the trade agreement announced on 1 October 2018 between the US, Mexico and Canada (the USMCA) which, if executed by all three countries would constitute the first step in rescinding the Order.
The Commission notes that the USMCA has not yet been formally ratified by the Government of Canada or implemented as law. More importantly, the Commission also notes that Broadcasting Order CRTC 2016-335 has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada (the Court) and is set to be heard on 4 December 2018. The Commission is of the view that entertaining an application in respect of the very matter which is before the Court, prior to it having been heard or decided by the Court, would be inappropriate and would be disrespectful of the process by which Commission decisions may be reviewed and appealed.
While BCE submitted that it would be in the public interest to have the revenues from the Canadian advertising during the Super Bowl included in the calculation of its Canadian programming expenditure contributions, it is the Commission’s view that this concern is outweighed by the importance of the Commission’s deference to and support of the Canadian judicial framework.
For all of the above reasons it would be inappropriate for the Commission to consider the matter at this time. Accordingly, the Commission hereby returns BCE’s Part I application.
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