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Hatch scores his own NFL victory for church Super Bowl parties

Published February 21, 2008 1:59 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 1:59 PM- The National Football Association in a letter to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has agreed to let religious organizations televise the Super Bowl for their congregations on any size television.

Hatch and other senators were outraged by a story in the Washington Post that indicated the NFL objected to churches showing their big game, especially on big screens. Some churches canceled their Super Bowl parties because they were worried about lawsuits.

After the story ran, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., proposed a bill that would give churches the right to show the game and Hatch sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The commissioner sent Hatch a response on Tuesday that said the league would have no problem with "live showings - regardless of screen size - of the Super Bowl" so long as the event was free and held in a building normally used by the religious organization.

"I am grateful that this accommodation was made to allow the NFL to protect its copyrighted material, while respecting the interests of churches," Hatch said in a statement. "Although the practice is uncommon in Utah, Super Bowl parties can be very beneficial for all involved."