INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL has nixed a church’s plans to use a wall projector to show the Colts-Bears Super Bowl game, saying it would violate copyright laws.
NFL officials spotted a promotion of Fall Creek Baptist Church’s “Super Bowl Bash” on the church Web site last week and overnighted a letter to the pastor demanding the party be canceled, the church said.
Initially, the league objected to the church’s plan to charge a fee to attend and that the church used the license-protected words “Super Bowl” in its promotions.
Well, I suppose that’s kind of reasonable.
Pastor John D. Newland said he told the NFL his church would not charge anyone and that it would drop the use of the forbidden words.
But the NFL objected to the church’s plans to use a projector to show the game, saying the law limits it to one TV no bigger than 55 inches.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league’s long-standing policy is to ban “mass out-of-home viewing” of the Super Bowl. An exception is made for sports bars and other businesses that show televised sports as a part of their everyday operations.
That exception seems kind of arbitrary, doesn’t it?
“We have contracts with our (TV) networks to provide free over-the-air television for people at home,” Aiello said. “The network economics are based on television ratings and at-home viewing. Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen.”
This makes no sense. Advertisers care about the number of eyeballs they reach, not the number of screens they’re displayed on. Why punish a church for a flaw in the Nielsen system?