Canadians make run on TV antennas to watch U.S. Super Bowl ads

David Brown
Shutdown Corner

What do Canadians covet from the U.S. more than anything else?

Is it our socialized medicine? Our unparalleled macrobrews? Our legendary curling industry? They all might be good answers it's really our hilarious Super Bowl commercials that our neighbors to the north desire.

Many of the commercials that everyone talks about on social media and at the water cooler the next day at work in the U.S. aren't shown in Canada because the products they represent aren't marketed in the same way. Different markets, different commercials.

For example: The Volkswagen one with the kid in the Darth Vader costume? Yeah, apparently people in Calgary are just finding out about that.

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Canadians could watch the Ravens and 49ers online via unauthorized streaming or check YouTube five minutes later for those commercials uploaded there, like with Volkswagen Vader. But the picture is lousy by comparison on a funky web stream, and who wants to wait for the latest from Spuds McKenzie and soccer-playing Budweiser Clydesdales?

But for people who live near the U.S. border and close enough to our airwaves, there's another way.

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The CBC reports:

In Windsor, Ont., right across from Detroit, dealers and installers are getting almost daily — sometimes panicked — requests for the receivers.

“It always a little rushed. They want it done by this Saturday,” said Russ Gray of Gray’s Radio and TV Service.

He’s been in business for 51 years. Wednesday, he was installing a 10-metre (30-foot) TV antenna for a customer in Essex County, southeast of Windsor. The person wanted the job done in time for the big game.

“It always seems to be a last-minute thing. They only start thinking about it three weeks ahead,” Gray said.

Thirty-foot TV antennas! So we're not talking about a set of rabbit ears, apparently. You'd think this would become less and less of a phenomenon every year with Canadians installing 30-foot monstrosities on every other lot of land. A 30-foot tower isn't like a Christmas tree you throw in the mulch pit after every holiday. This is the aluminum kind you fold up and stow in the basement. Or keep planted in the ground.

Toronto can pick up Buffalo's television signals pretty well because of minimum interference by Lake Ontario, but some viewers install "free-to-air satellite" receivers to get a better picture. Man, this is a lot of work just for Super Bowl commercials that — I swear — most people find disappointing once they air.

And all for a country that doesn't even have an NFL team! Well, not yet anyway. First they steal our commercials, the next thing you know they're stealing our Buffalo Bills.

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