If you’re planning on watching tonight’s Super Bowl on anything larger than a 55-inch TV, you’d better hope it’s a limited guest list. The NFL might hunt you down.
The league is cracking down on big-screen church gatherings to watch the game because it violates the NFL’s copyright laws. In Washington DC, that means 200 members of the Immanuel Bible Church will have to disband to smaller, private parties, with smaller TVs.
The Washington Post’s Jacqueline L. Salmon writes, “The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches because smaller sets limit the audience size. The section of federal copyright law giving the NFL protection over the content of its programming exempts sports bars, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.”
But isn’t this rule a bit antiquated considering the advent of super-size, HDTV sets? Models that are 55-inches and higher are the norm these days, not the exception. What’s the big dif? Cash, of course.
The Baltimore Sun's Bill Ordine points out: “one person watches the game on an 18-inch screen, it counts the same in the ratings as 200 people watching on a 60-inch screen. So, as usual, there's more than a whiff of money involved here.”
So, do the NFL a favor. Watch the game alone. On a separate TV. It’s the least you can do.