Signal Substitution Is On Notice

On January 29, 2015, a decision was released by the CRTC in regards to signal substitution. Starting in 2017 (the NFL’s 2016-2017 season), the Super Bowl can no longer be signal substituted.

Additionally, the CRTC has limited the use of signal substitution only to broadcasters with an Over-The-Air (OTA) presence. Canadian channels available only on cable, IPTV or satellite services can not use signal substitution.

Furthermore, the CRTC has put broadcasters on notice in regards to signal substitution errors. On top of compensating BDU subscribers affected by signal substitution errors, action could be taken against the practice if too many complaints are received for a broadcaster and/or BDU’s sloppy application of signal substitution.

Broadcasters might even choose to drop unpredictable content such as live events and substitute the programming with Canadian content instead of running the risk of encountering too many signal substitution errors and possibly lose all of their signal substitution privileges as a result.

This decision on signal substitution may not be entirely what we wished for, but the fear of losing one’s signal substitution privileges could still result in a significant increase in the amount of Canadian content presented on Canadian television.

CRTC link to the decision.

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