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14 Sep 2010

The NFL Changes its Policy for Super Bowl Parties

Raul Rivera

Shortly after posting an article on how the NFL can sue churches for copyright infringements, I received some excellent information from a reader on a recent change of policy by the NFL.

The NFL received a lot of pressure from church members and Congress. Led by Senator Orin Hatch (R-UTAH), and other senators, they consulted on amending the copyright law to allow an exemption for religious organizations. The NFL has now amended its policy to allow live showings of the Super Bowl by religious organizations, without any regard to the size of the screen.

Though the NFL changed its policy, the law has not changed

It is important to know, while the NFL changed its policy, the law has not changed. It is simply that the NFL has changed its "terms of use" because of pressure from church members and Congress.  I hope the law does change so that the religious exemption guarantees this right to churches.

Below is a quick list of how and when a Super Bowl party can be shown on a big screen at a church.

1. The Super Bowl Party must be free to the general public.
2. Admissions may not be charged, but voluntary/freewill donations may be accepted to help pay for the costs.
3. It must be held on the church property or in its customary place of worship.

The good news!

If your church wants to host a Super Bowl party, you are now free to do it so long as you follow the three steps above. Go Atlanta Falcons!

Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Raul Rivera

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About the Author

Church Planter. Speaker. Author. CEO. Raul Rivera has had ample experience in the church planting world. His current venture, StartCHURCH, has helped 1000's of churches to start right. Raul has compiled an array of manuals and software tools that help churches stay compliant with the IRS. He also hosts over 35 national conferences per year, training pastors on how to launch their churches. Raul is married to his wife Genel, and they and their five children live in Atlanta, GA.