Friday, February 02, 2007

The (Super Bowl) party's over

By Robert King
Churches in Indiana and across the country are scrapping traditional Super Bowl viewing parties in wake of the NFL’s stance that mass viewings of the game on big screen TV’s would violate copyright law.

The issue came to light Thursday when the Star reported that the NFL had told Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis that its plans for a Super Bowl watch party in front a big screen TV would be illegal.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday the league stands by its interpretation of copyright law and would look into any violators that comes to the league’s attention. The main concern for the league, Aiello said, is groups that charge admission to watch games and those that use a TV screen larger than 55 inches to show the game.

A story about Fall Creek’s plan to cancel its game viewing plans prompted dozens of calls and more than 500 email comments to the Star’s website Thursday. Aiello said media from around the country have been inquiring with the league as well.

In Indianapolis, home of the AFC Champion Colts, Indian Creek Christian Church and Castleton United Methodist Church are among those who have cancelled plans to watch the game in their churches.

The issue came to light after the NFL confronted Fall Creek about its promotion of a “Super Bowl Bash” at the church that would bring together congregation members to watch the game with a projection TV.

Aiello said the league has a longstanding policy against “mass out-of-home viewings” of the Super Bowl, even if the hosts don’t charge admission. The NFL makes an exception to that, however, for sports bars that show televised sports on a regular basis. And that point has been a point of considerable anger among people who have contacted the newspaper in response to the story.

Via IndyStar.com via digg


They don't call it the "No Fun League" for nothing! :o)
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