Engaging Culture

NFL Allows Churches to Broadcast the Super Bowl

Reversing an earlier decision that drew criticism from elected officials, the NFL will allow church groups to show the Super Bowl on large-screen televisions. It was particularly odd, since they’ve allowed big screen viewing at sports bars for years. As ESPN reports, apparently the NFL has finally seen the light. Thanks to reader Allen Hendrix for pointing this out.

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5 Comments

  1. Finally, the NFL has seen the light!

    As a law student, I've actually studied the law upon which the Super Bowl was resting its earlier position. It says you cannot show games on a television larger than what is ordinarily used for home viewing without receiving some kind of license from the broadcaster. I was really surprised by the NFL's previous position, mainly because nowadays you could argue almost anything short of a movie theater screen is "ordinarily used" for home viewing. When the law was written, a 32" TV was probably pretty much the limit, but now, 52" flat screens or even much larger projection screens are commonplace in American homes.

    Plus, from a PR perspective, it looked really bad that the NFL had a double standard for sports bars that were doing the same thing. I don't think the NFL could have prevailed anyway in a lawsuit against a church, but it would have been a big risk for a church to try to challenge the law, so I think this is the best possible outcome.

  2. There is no doubt that the people who operate professional sports franchises such as the NFL will see the light and seize the opportunity to attract yet more eyes and attention to their advertising.

    I would be concerned about the priorities of church leadership who encourage and go out of their way to provide members of their congregations a venue to spend endless hours watching grossly overpaid self absorbed individuals pointlessly move a piece of pigskin up and down a field. I'm sure it could all be justified by selling drinks and snacks to raise a "sacrificial gift" for charity!

    I think it's great when a church group organizes participatory sports events, that can fosters friendships, creates team spirit and is healthy. To simply feed into the false hero worshipping, over commercialized spectator sports machine through the mass media is a waste of time at best.

    There are countless ways for church leadership to "lose the plot" these days, and this is just another example.

    Will

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