Rules For Having A Legal Church Super Bowl Party

Posted January 24, 2011 by Jerod

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.)

Filed under: Outreach Projects/Events

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Comments (1)

  • Anne
    4:37 PM
    Sun, Jan 30, 2011

    I didn’t know a church had to follow any rules for showing the super bowl.  A church I attended a few years ago had a super bowl party and showed the game on the equipment in the sanctuary….I was a little bothered by the beer commercials; guess I was being hypocritical thinking it should have been shown in the fellowship hall instead of the sanctuary.

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