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Can't say Superbowl on the radio?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Beveridge, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge Second Unit

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    I heard this yesterday morning on Boston's 98.5 radio station, but apparently there's some legalese involved regarding the superbowl and they're not allowed to call it that (having instead to refer to it as the "big game" nor are they allowed to mention which league or even the local team name, since it's the Patriots. They end up having to refer to them as "the New England team" or somesuch.

    Anyone heard of anything like this? It just seems strange.
     
  2. Jamie E

    Jamie E Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, is it April 1st already? [​IMG]
    Sounds like one of those whacky radio gags to me. Good mornin'!
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Morning radio shows are wonderful, aren't they? It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the hosts actually believed it.

    /Mike
     
  4. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge Second Unit

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    If it was some other station, I'd probably agree with you. But having listened to them for years now, it doesn't jive with what their morning shows are like - and this is a throughout the day thing, not just isolated to one segment.
     
  5. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    While I don't know if that is true, I do know that I've heard a couple commercials that awkwardly referred to the Super Bowl as "the big game." It became noticeable after the second or third time "the big game" was mentioned in the same commercial (and no mention of "Super Bowl" was made).
     
  6. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    They're saying the same thing on KROQ. Of course, the KROQ guys are kind of dim - fun, but dim [​IMG] They had endless fun "bleeping" out the middle of the word superbowl, with about as much success as they do with other words. Which is to say, very little [​IMG]
     
  7. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    This is all because I have purchased the rights to the word "SuperBowl (C)".

    In fact, when you tune in Sunday, you will see "The Big Game XXXVI". That is, until my legal team finishes the paperwork for that phrase. You may see: "The Championship Game for a Sport formerly known as Football".
     
  8. Jamie E

    Jamie E Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know. I can't imagine any legal situation that would completely prevent the use of a trademarked term. I mean, think about the "Pepsi challenge" commericals where they specifically compare their product to Coke, by name. As far as I know, the only restrictions on trademarked terms are that you can't appropriate them for your own product. For instance, you couldn't market your own radio show as "The Super Bowl of Game Coverage." Nor could you call yourself "The Voice of the Patriots" unless you contracted with the team for such use of their name.

    If a sportscaster says "The Patriots will meet the Rams in the Super Bowl," it's a factual statement, just like saying "Coke contains carbonated water, sugar, and caramel coloring." I can't imagine any situation that could ban such a statement. That would be a clear violation of the first amendment.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    SUPERBOWL! SUPERBOWL! SUPERBOWL! SUPERBOWL!
    Oh crap! Who's banging on my door? [​IMG]
     
  10. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I'm pretty sure that the term "Super Bowl" is only restricted when the radio station (or other media) is doing a promotion that is in conjunction with the Super Bowl but does not have permission from the NFL regarding the term.

    For example, if the radio station was to purchase on their own and give away 2 tickets to the Super Bowl as a promotion, it would seem like they got the tickets for a promotional giveaway from the NFL, which would not be the case. That would be a trademark violation. Thus they say "pro football's biggest game" or something like that.

    When it has nothing to do with advertising or promotions, and is strictly editorial, then use of "Super Bowl" is permitted.
     
  11. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    Chris,
    There was an article in the Boston Globe this morning that said WEEI isn't allowed to broadcast the game because of the Patriots involvement. It said that WBCN was going to carry the CBS/Westwood One broadcast. I believe that CBS/Westwood One also owns WBCN. I don't know if this is just a random useless fact or if this has something to do with the isse.
    You can read the whole article here, if interested.
    http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/02..._opener+.shtml
    Tim
     
  12. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I hear all the talk radio programs use the word "Super Bowl".
     
  13. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    My guess, without proof of any kind, is that the stations doing this are owned by some conglomerate that doesn't have the rights to air The Big Game [​IMG] and thus have issued instructions to on-air personalities that They Shall Not Give Free Advertising to the program to be aired by the competition. Sounds like the small-minded thinking that goes on in these places.
     
  14. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    I've heard a radio comercial several time the last few weeks that states as part of the ad that they aren't allow to use the word Superbowl.

    My guess is that if there is a promotion that isn't offically approved by the NFL then they could not use that term.
     
  15. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    I've heard the same, Mark. A friend of mine works at an ad agency, and they aren't allowed to use the term "Super Bowl" in any of their Super Bowl promotional pieces for a certain imported beer that shall go unnamed.
     
  16. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I just saw the superbowl simpsons one, and i think the whole superbowl thing is like trademarked or something for some reason [​IMG]
    In the beginning when they're in moe's bar, he goes like
    "i would love to go to the superbowl, my favourite team is playing" *in another voice and beer mug over mouth* "THe atlanta falcons"
    and homer says another team with the beer mug over his mouth... why is this?>
     
  17. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Nick, probably because at the time of the making of the episode they didn't know which teams were going to play in the Super Bowl (or at least that's how they want it to appear), and decided to make a joke out of it.

    As for the ban on saying SuperBowl... can anyone in corporate America even SPELL "land of the free" anymore? Yes, I understand it's only banned if used in commercial purposes, and that the term "Super Bowl" is probably protected my all sorts of trademarks and stuff, but geez...

    /Mike
     

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