Thursday, February 01, 2007

NFL to America: "Thou Shalt Not Watch the Super Bowl at Church"

For those churches making plans to host Super Bowl parties, beware: the NFL is watching. Apparently, it is a violation of copyright laws for a church (or anyone else) to use a projection screen to view the Super Bowl.

This is a huge mistake on the part of the NFL. It was bad enough that they wouldn't let Indianapolis have a showing in the RCA Dome. Now they're taking it away from churches and offices and people with large projection screens (TVs bigger than 55 inches are not allowed). I think this is bad marketing, bad public relations, and a poor business decision.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says, "The network economics are based on television ratings and at-home viewing. Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen." Who cares about your stupid Nielson rating? I mean, seriously? Good grief! It's not enough to know that 90% of people who watch television on Sunday will be watching the game? And the other 10% are stuck in nursing homes where they either aren't allowed, or can't figure out how to change the channel!

The Super Bowl is THE televised broadcast event of the year (until William Hung makes it to the American Idol finals). Does it really matter if people watch it at home alone or in a huge group at church? What if everyone agreed to just leave their TV tuned in to the Super Bowl at home?

That's not the worst thing about this. The worst thing is that the NFL is missing out on a huge opportunity to win over a lot of fans. Church events and other places that would host huge parties would bring in lots of people who wouldn't normally care about football. Especially the womenfolk. After all, every good Super Bowl party needs food, and who better to prepare the food than the womenfolk?

Anyways, games are much more exciting in large groups, and it's likely that many people would think to themselves, "Hey! This football thing is kind of fun!" Then maybe they'd watch the regular season games too, and soon you have a devoted fan base that would have never existed if it weren't for the Super Bowl party.

This decision is a huge loss for the NFL. Hopefully they'll hire me as a marketing consultant and I will help change their minds. Until then, here's a list of restrictions from the NFL, if you're planning a Super Bowl Party:

1) No admission fees (even to pay for snacks).
2) Only one television (55 inches or smaller).
3) No use of the words "Super Bowl" in promotional materials.
4) No exhibition of the game in connection with events "that promote a message."


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