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Regulatory loophole allows for American Super Bowl commercials

Companies in this story
Access Communications Co-Operative Limited
Vid�otron Lt�e
Articles in related categories
Cable companies
HDTV/digital television
ALL VIEWERS WHO REALLY want to see all of the American commercials on the Super Bowl on Sunday have to do is buy themselves a high definition television set and an HD system from a Canadian distributor.

As first reported last year by www.cablecastermagazine.com, the Canadian regulations say that distributors do not have to simultaneously substitute an inferior signal over a digital one. So, Rogers, Vid�otron, ExpressVu, and others carrying the Super Bowl in HD do not have to substitute the CanWest Global analog feed and its Canadian commercials over top of the HD American one.

While most carriers have not overtly marketed the regulatory gap - probably since it will close in 2004 (at least in Toronto anyway) once the Canadian rights holder upgrades to digital - Montreal-based Vid�otron and Regina's Access Communications actually went a step further and issued press releases this week touting the fact that HD customers can see all of the American commercials in full.

"Vid�otron will carry the CBS network's broadcast of the 38th Super Bowl from Houston on Sunday, February 1, including the American commercials in full, on channel 153 in High Definition Television (HDTV)," says its press release.

"Access Communications digital and High Definition subscribers will have two options for enjoying U.S. feed (including U.S. commercials) on Superbowl Sunday, Feb 1," says the Access release.

These videophile football fans, however, will be very disappointed when the local broadcaster in their area makes the transition to HD and the simultaneous substitution rules come back in force to apply as they have in the past.

Then, it's just back to the technological stone ages where, if fans live near the border, hooking up their old rabbit ears could still be an option to see those U.S. ads.
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