You have got to be kidding me. Churches are not allowed to broadcast the Super Bowl? They are not allowed to broadcast the big game on their screens, so they are having to revert to hosting home parties instead. Now, I'm not religious, but this isn't a religious thing. No one should be denied the right to watch the big game with their friends - 5 of them or 300 of them. These churches aren't charging, just showing the game on their big screens. What genius decided that this was a good idea?
The NFL said, however, that the copyright law on its games is long-standing and the language read at the end of each game is well known: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited."
The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches because smaller sets limit the audience size. The section of federal copyright law giving the NFL protection over the content of its programming exempts sports bars, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. -Washington Post 2/1/08
So it ISN'T just for churches. It is for anyone who has a TV over 55" and shares with their friends in a public place. Guess they shouldn't come to my house and watch the big game with me then. Hey NFL - if you are listening, I occassionally watch the games that you broadcast ON MY BIGGER THAN 55" TV. Go ahead - sue me for owning a TV larger than 55". If I have some friends over (as we did at our Super Bowl party a few years ago) does this count as a public exhibition? No, you say? Well, if I show it in the back yard will you come after me and my projector?
You NFL guys really need to rethink the whole "You can't watch TV with your church friends thing." Again, not religious here, but man, this is wrong. So a pastor or minister, rabbi or whomever wants to share the love with the football fans in their group and build some community in the process - they CAN'T without the threat of a lawsuit. So come on NFL, get your act together and change up the rules. If you are exempting sports bars, think about adding churches and backyard BBQ's, or changing up those antiquated size rules. Come on, I'm sure I'm not the only rabid football fan that has a big TV.