Size Matters

Buried in this story about the NFL putting the kibosh on a Super Bowl party involving a church and a video projector is a tidbit about the legality of watching an NFL game on a screen larger than 55".  We wonder: does MLB have the same policy?  Is this an FCC regulation?  If we owned a video projector (we’re not saying we do), subscribed to Directv (we’re not saying we do), and decided to invite YF over to watch the Sox/Yanks on a 7′ diagonal screen (we’re not saying we would), would we be under the threat of fine or, worse, arrest?

What is it with sports leagues and their obsessive desire to limit our enjoyment?

12 comments… add one
  • …i wish i had the answer for you sf…the nfl and mlb are very anal about their logo’s and cute catch phrases, so i wasn’t surprised to see the church “sinned” when they used “super bowl” in their promotion…we’ve all heard the disclaimer at the beginning of games about not being allowed to rebroadcast pictures and descriptions or accounts of the game without the express written consent of mlb [or something like that]…and you can’t charge someone for watching the game at your venue [that was another of the church’s “sins”], but i’ve never heard about the big-screen restriction for the nlf or mlb…i wonder if they’ll come out with a restriction on screens that are too small, like on cell phones…i understand the part about “mass out of home viewings” affecting the ratings [ratings = money], but i think the most despicable thing about this story is that the nfl ban applies to churches and not to bars…that little inconsistency has a rat-like smell to me, and deserves a little investigation of the motive [are sports bars licensed to show games, therefore under the nfl’s control?]…i’d say if you’re going to invite yf over [i’m not saying you will], and you had access to a big screen [and i’m not saying you do], enjoy the darn game…

    dc February 3, 2007, 9:08 am
  • Bars, when playing by the rules, pay a different (substantially higher) rate for their cable/satellite subscriptions than homeowners do. I know a bar owner who bought a satellite feed for his bar, but had the billing sent to his house so he could pay the residential rate. He got caught and paid a significant penalty to make things good and keep his transgression out of court.

    attackgerbil February 3, 2007, 11:56 am
  • If someone challenged that screen size restriction in court, I can’t imagine it would hold up.
    What if I tile the picture over four 54″ screens?
    And where is this screen-size restriction announced to people receiving their broadcast?
    The NFL may have that in their contract with the broadcaster, but unless it is conveyed to the consumer they can’t possibly be expected to abide by it.

    Hudson February 3, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • The NFL said they’ve always had a policy against “mass out-of-home-viewings” of the Super Bowl, except at sports bars that usually show sports anyway. If you’re at your house (I think) you can have some people over and watch the game on whatever you want, it’s the public place thing that rubbed them the wrong way.
    Thing is…the out of home viewings wouldn’t really affect the money. The people who go to these things will still be watching the commercials, so I don’t really get what the problem is. Only thing I can think of is if the Nielsen families went out, they won’t be there to check in. That could be remedied with a simple, “how many of you watched the Super Bowl” phone call or e-mail. I would think the NFL would actually be in favor of that sort of thing, since it’d probably end up spiking their numbers. Whatever…this whole thing is pretty stupid. You’d think they’d come up with an explanation that’s a little better then ‘your tv is too big.’

    desturbd1 February 3, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • “we’ve all heard the disclaimer at the beginning of games”
    In the AP version of the story that we got in my local paper, the pastor was quoted as saying, “I had no idea the game was copyrighted.” Whaaat??? Some of these church people are completely clueless. Then again, any pastor having a Super Bowl party at church obviously isn’t much of a football fan. Beer or no beer, I’d like to watch the game (which I’ll be doing at home, with beer, btw).
    What I get a kick out of is that there’s a special video with evangelical Christian NFL players that churches can get to show at their Super Bowl parties. So you’ve got players participating in producing something especially for events the league discourages. Priceless!

    pastorsteve February 3, 2007, 10:24 pm
  • When I read that article a few days back, I thought the issue was that they were charging for it. When you start charging for it, it’s an issue.. (or I am just plain wrong..)

    Lar February 3, 2007, 10:50 pm
  • Charging for it was part of the issue, but the size of the screen was mentioned also. Most churches who are doing parties show the games using a projector and screen, so it’s bigger than the 55″ the NFL says is allowed. They’ve defined anything larger as a mass viewing.

    pastorsteve February 3, 2007, 11:12 pm
  • Except the church isn’t charging…they told the NFL they were seeking payment for snacks and beverages, but that was all. The league still said no. It was a not-for-profit thing.

    desturbd1 February 3, 2007, 11:54 pm
  • The ads probably change from time-to-time, but when I clicked through to the article, there was a Best Buy ad specifically for a 61″ TV. Frickin awesome.

    QuoSF February 4, 2007, 12:11 am
  • “It was a not-for-profit thing.”
    Pretty much anything a church does is not-for-profit, since we’re non-profit corporations.

    pastorsteve February 4, 2007, 8:33 am
  • quo, that’s hilarious…
    i think this whole rhubarb has to do with the nfl’s interpretation of the rather obscure separation of church and football doctrine, although it is not specifically mentioned in the establishment or free exercise clauses of the first admendment…

    dc February 4, 2007, 11:56 am
  • That, dc, is VERY funny!

    pastorsteve February 4, 2007, 4:56 pm

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