Many churches reach out to their communities by hosting game day parties, because it’s a great opportunity for fun and fellowship.
In 2007, the NFL made churches think twice by sending a cease-and-desist letter to an Indianapolis church, ordering it to cancel a “Super Bowl Bash” party for 400 members. The NFL cited copyright infringement as the reason for contacting the church.
Party On, with a Few Precautions
The 2007 incident received a great deal of attention. As a result, the NFL clarified its stance and granted churches permission to show the game as long as they follow a few specific guidelines:
The game must be shown on equipment the church regularly uses. If the church owns a big screen and sound equipment for Sunday worship services, the game can be shown using this equipment.
The church cannot charge admission for the party. However, it may accept donations to defray the cost of food and other supplies.
To eliminate the risk of copyright infringement, the church may want to call its event something other than “Super Bowl Party.” For example, “Big Game Bash.” (Source: David Middlebrook, the Church Law Group) The Church Law Group produced a YouTube video that explains the above guidelines in more detail. View the video.
Hope you have a great party!
Reference: Used with permission from Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.