The NFL is cracking down on churches that show the Superbowl on their big screens. See this article from the “Washington Post” entitled NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl.
Many churches that have sponsored these parties have received letters from the league forbidding the practice. Church spokesmen are complaining, saying that hosting congregational Superbowl screenings is good for fellowship and for reaching the “unchurched.” They are further irked that the law against public showings of sporting events exempts bars. Plans are now in the works to sue the NFL and to push for legislation exempting churches as well.
Public showings of copyrighted material ARE prohibited by law. This is why you keep hearing the message: “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.” There is a big legal difference between viewing something in one’s home and viewing it in a mass public setting. The entitlement mentality is unseemly.
So I ask another question: SHOULD churches have the same exemption that bars do? And another question: SHOULD churches hold these kinds of secular events?