Saturday, February 02, 2008

Churches Can't Have Big-Screen Super Bowl Parties

From the Star Tribune:

You may be doing the Good Lord's work, but that won't matter as far as the NFL is concerned.

If any house of worship -- or nearly anyone else, for that matter -- intends to show Sunday's Super Bowl game on a large screen for a group of people, the league says you are violating its copyright.

That's news to the Rev. Mark Shockey of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Edina. St. Peter's has just such a gathering planned for Sunday, when it will project the Big Game on a 5- by 7-foot screen, Shockey said.

That's way larger than what the NFL allows. The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches because smaller sets limit the audience size.

"We have no objection to churches and others hosting Super Bowl parties as long as they ... show the game on a television of the type commonly used at home," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "It is a matter of copyright law."

Large Super Bowl gatherings around big-screen sets outside of homes shrink TV ratings and can affect advertising revenue, McCarthy said. The section of copyright law giving the NFL protection over the content of its programming exempts sports bars, he said.

We're in the clear here.

No comments: