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August 29, 2015

NFL puts kibosh on giant-screen Super Bowl parties

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 2nd 2007 6:25PM
Super Bowl XLI logoHere's another reason why everyone calls the NFL the "No Fun League"...

The league is cracking down on any mass-viewings of the Super Bowl that is brought to their attention, including parties that charge admission -- get this -- any gathering that views the game on a TV that's 55" or above, whether admission is charged or not.

And who is the league going after in the second case? Not a sports bar (they're exempted because they show sports all year), not a blowout party in an apartment but... a church. The Indianapolis Star reports that when the NFL caught wind of a "Super Bowl Bash" a local church was holding, they called the church and told them it would be illegal. Of course, the church decided to cancel the event.

Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it? Here's what I don't get: if no one is profiting off the gathering (no admission, not selling food or drink), why does the NFL care if there are parties on huge screens or not? They're not losing money, the advertisers aren't losing money -- in fact, they have a huge captive audience who will watch the ads on a huge screen. So what's the harm, even if it does technically violate copyright law?

[via digg]

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According to Quizlaw (http://www.quizlaw.com/blog/well_i_guess_we_know_who_the_l.php) there is an "unless",

"unless it is being shown in a sports bar or other establishment where showing NFL games is a weekly custom."

So, since most people watch NFL games during the week on their 55"+ TV in their home, they are ok to have a Super Bowl(TM) party. This "rule" was just to prevent a *church* from showing the game.

So all of you planning on throwing a party to watch on your 55"+ don't worry, as long as you watched at least one game a week on it this season (give or take, no one is auditing) your fine.

February 03 2007 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is this even an issue up for concern? This is the worst example of corporate greed that I have seen well since the last example of corporate greed. The Super Bowl is the highest rated television event every single year. You have more eyes on that screen during that football game than any state of the union address(not that I blame anyone for skipping most of the last 6), any santa monica freeway high speed chase(or low speed), or any media hyped advertising campaign sorry I mean bomb hoax (c'mon Boston lets get real it looks like a handmade LiteBrite). They know that the commercials are going to be not only watched but recorded and judged... some people don't even watch the game at this point. Peyton Manning finally making it to the Super Bowl... outside of Indy who cares? Rex Grossman sucks... he's the weak link? Who outside of Chicago cares? If these teams go out and put on a defensive standoff the game becomes worthless. So how do I survive the possible mundanity of a crappy football game... that's easy... I go to a big Super Bowl Party. Custom Built HD Projection... I've seen this thing in action and it's gotta be a 70-75 ft. screen @ 1080i... but I can't provide the friend's name or location because Elliot Ness might show up and have a "raid". I'm going to go to my big projection screen party, I'm going to enjoy the game with friends, enjoy good food and watch a football game I don't really care about. I'm going to watch all the commercials except for the movie trailers because they always give too much away... (w/ exception of the Matrix commercial in '99). I'm not going to buy a single item from any of the advertisers that I wasn't going to buy already... and maybe just maybe we can hope that all the neison family ratings boxes all malfunction at the same time as a wonderful reward to all the good will the NFL is passing around....

February 03 2007 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that the NFL is very protective of the rights of the Super Bowl that they don't want the giant-screen parties to become too excessive. If it's bigger than the screens at the stadium, they get concerned. I've noticed more giant screen Super Bowl parties in the past 5 years, especially at various sports bars. Before 2002, most everyone watched it at home. Now, with the obsession with flat screen TVs that save a lot of space instead of big boxy cathode ray tube TVs, people want to don those big parties more.

February 03 2007 at 3:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why could'nt the NFL intervene with BARS CHARGING FOR ALCOHOL during the Superbowl - come on, give us something that we can use for crying out loud!

February 03 2007 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Cohen

So, that's why Circuit City, Best Buy and Amazon are not saying explicitly "For SuperBowl KLI, buy the biggest TVs we offer!"? I don't know about this, guys. In all honesty, the NFL has a weak legal claim to this so-called protection. On the "charging admission" front, I can see a legit argument, but on the TV size-limit, they are simply OUT OF THEIR MINDS!

Well, here's a little site that makes me laugh, in a good way, not like how Goodell and the NFL make me laugh, which is through tears of pain:


February 03 2007 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John S.

If you had read the article, you would have found out the church dropped the admission fee but that still didn't satisfy the NFL. To me this (along with the NHL on VERSUS and DirecTV's exclusive licensing of NFL and MLB PPV packages) is just another example of the pro sports leagues' desire for cash over fans, no matter how ridiculous the means.

February 03 2007 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diego M

who the hell cares, i got a 57" HDTV and i got a ot of people coming over. it is a little overboard to actually release a press statement, but i just think this is stupid. the damn new comish is startin to be a jack-ass.

February 03 2007 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow. What upstanding, theologically educated folks. I believe both testaments have some sections about needless desecration of worshipping areas, even if location matters less than feeling.


Good gawd.

Anyway, ignoring ratings for a moment, if they allow such things, every local affiliate effectively has bargaining pressure to raise costs on consumers or renegotiate contracts with the National Football League. It's wholly legitimate, and every league does it.

February 03 2007 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well thank god im here in Denmark.. we are about 8 guys seeing at my house.. The only thing i can complain about is that by the end of the game it will be about 5-6 in the moring but what do i care.. i'll be shitfaced at that point! :D

February 02 2007 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In a perfect world for the NFL, football fans would all be friendless loners.

February 02 2007 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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