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CRTC Maintains Simultaneous Substitution Regime

Commission decision helps preserve Canadian programming and jobs

TORONTO – Canada’s professional performers commend the CRTC today for protecting the public interest after the Commission limited its changes to the simultaneous substitution regime to banning the practice during the Super Bowl, beginning in 2017. The decision, which reaffirms the importance of simultaneous substitution to the Canadian broadcast system, will preserve the practice across the wider broadcast landscape.

“Clearly the Commission felt that the issue of Canadians accessing American commercials during the Super Bowl was an important consumer irritant that needed to be addressed,” said ACTRA National President Ferne Downey. “The Commission’s decision regarding simultaneous substitution balances the wishes of Canadian audiences with the vital need to continue to support the Canadian broadcast system.”

During the Commission’s Let’s Talk TV hearings in September, ACTRA maintained that the simultaneous substitution regime helped form the backbone of the Canadian broadcast system. Simultaneous substitution protects broadcaster rights and maximizes Canadian advertising revenue, which supports Canadian Programming Expenditures (CPE) and Programs of National Interest (PNI) and the health of the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole. ACTRA believes that the abolition of simultaneous substitution would cost Canadian jobs and have a negative impact on the creation of homegrown Canadian programming.

Simultaneous substitution continues to be a key element of the broadcasting system in Canada as it helps keep advertising dollars in the country,” added ACTRA National Executive Director Stephen Waddell. “Eliminating $250 million in revenue from the Canadian broadcast system would have disastrous implications for the cultural and economic well-being of Canadians. We’re glad that Commission recognized that fact when crafting their decision.”

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.


For media inquiries please contact:
Karen Woolridge
Public Relations Officer, ACTRA Toronto, Cell: (416) 937-1437,

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