Ask any Canadian NFL fan: signal substitution sucks, especially at Super Bowl time. With the game on CTV, get ready to watch endless appearances of those two F-ing Bell Canada cell phone beavers instead of the most talked about U.S. ads of the year.
Thanks to YouTube, however, you can watch one U.S. ad Canadians can’t watch right here at TV Feeds My Family: the Justin Timberlake Pepsi “Stuff” spot, elaborate as hell, featuring more special effects than your average episode of 24:

Whoa, cameos from Timberlake’s old “Dick in a Box” buddy Andy Samburg and even Tony Romo. That’s fizz. The spot was directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and theReal Girl) and cost 17 kazillion dollars. Canadian!
Fox is reportedly getting as much as $2.7 million for a 30-second a spot at the year’s Super Bowl broadcast, up from the $2.6 million CBS scooped every 30 seconds last year. Advertisers pony up because the game is one of the last real time big tickets. An estimated 93 million viewers tuned in last year, about ten times the viewership of even hit shows in American this season.
Global enjoyed this lucrative NFL signal substitution bonanza for years and milked it for every cent, cramming ads into phony animated blimps and digitally inserted billboards. CTV has shown more restraint this season and should score another big touchdown tomorrow. Stealing football away from Global in a season otherwise thrown for a loss due to the writers strike has been a game saver this season for CTV. Their coverage of the NFC and AFC conference championship games two weeks ago drew 1.83 and 1.38 million viewers, respectively.
The game starts at 6 p.m., but there is the usual orgy of over coverage, starting at noon with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest somehow working some sort of Super Bowl red carpet. Gad. The half time show features Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Pray there is no wardrobe malfunction.
CTV has the fifth season premiere of Nip/Tuck cued up for when the game ends (probably around 10:15); Global counters with a new episode of House, Fox’s football followup.
As for those other American ads you can’t see here: YouTube currently has links to BudweiserMedia, where you can watch 10-second previews to their nine new Super Bowl XLII spots. Commercial previews?? How crazy is that? I’m guessing the full length spots will be posted after they premiere on the big game.
Oh yeah, the game: Giants by four.

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