You’ve probably heard about this, but the LA Times has a good overview of the NFL’s crackdown on churches holding Super Bowl parties. Unbelievable as it may seem, it’s against the law.
The intent of the law, which dates to the 1960s, is to protect the NFL’s television ratings by preventing large crowds from gathering to watch games in public places — where their viewing habits aren’t measured by the Nielsen ratings. (The ratings only measure viewership at home.) Sports bars and other businesses that rely on televised sports to draw patrons are exempt.
Under NFL guidelines — and federal law — churches, schools and other public venues can hold football-viewing parties only if they use a single, living-room-size TV, no bigger than 55 inches. When they project the game onto 12-foot screens or set up banks of TVs, they cross the line, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy