The NFL has been notorious for changing the rules of what’s legal when it comes to churches showing the Super Bowl on their big screens. So I emailed the NFL last week asking them what rules a church needs to follow to legally show the big game in 2011. They wrote:
"As long as you don't charge admission, you can show the Super Bowl game."
Easy enough, right?
If you're still looking for some more unofficial legal advice, here's a video we posted last year updated video from The Church Law Group laying out some guidelines for having a legal Super Bowl party.
There are three main points from the video:
- The game must be shown on equipment that the church regularly uses over the course of ministry. So if the church already owns a big screen and sound equipment, then the game can be shown using this equipment.
- A church cannot charge admission for the party. The NFL has stated, however, that a church may take up a donation to defray the cost of the event if they desire.
- To avoid any copyright infringements, churches may want to call their event a “Big Game Party” rather than a “Super Bowl Party.”
(Close up football image courtesy of Shutterstock.)