2/2/08

WP: NFL Forbids Churches from Showing the Superbowl On a Screen Bigger than 55 Inches

  • Mammon NFL hath spoken.
  • Thou shalt not show thine Superbowl in Church (or Synagogue or Mosque) on a screen bigger than 55 inches.
  • Mammon NFL permitteth any size TV in the pagan sports bars.
NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl
By Jacqueline L. Salmon

For years, as many as 200 members of Immanuel Bible Church and their friends have gathered in the church's fellowship hall to watch the Super Bowl on its six-foot screen. The party featured hard hitting on the TV, plenty of food -- and prayer.

But this year, Immanuel's Super Bowl party is no more. After a crackdown by the National Football League on big-screen Super Bowl gatherings by churches, the Springfield church has sacked its event. Instead, church members will host parties in their homes.

Immanuel is among a number of churches in the Washington area and elsewhere that have been forced to use a new playbook to satisfy the NFL, which said that airing games at churches on large-screen TV sets violates the NFL copyright.

Ministers are not happy.

"There is a part of me that says, 'Gee, doesn't the NFL have enough money already?'" said Steve Holley, Immanuel's executive pastor. He pointed out that bars are still allowed to air the game on big-screens TV sets. "It just doesn't make sense."

The Super Bowl, the most secular of American holidays, has long been popular among churches. With parties, prayer and Christian DVDs replacing the occasionally racy halftime shows, churches use the event as a way to reach members, and potential new members, in a non-churchlike atmosphere.

"It takes people who are not coming frequently, or who have fallen away, and shows them that the church can still have some fun," said the Rev. Thomas Omholt, senior pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in the District. Omholt has hosted a Super Bowl party for young adults in his home for 20 years. "We can be a little less formal."

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. ...

2 comments:

Clinton Supporter said...

Tzvee-
What can I do if my neighbor posts objectionable signs on the lawn?

Tzvee said...

C. S. - I am surprised you have to ask. Follow Hillary's example and just tear it down. That's precisely why I'm for Barack. Fired up! Ready to go!