TV News & Reviews

Royal party poopers: Fox tells Kansas City movie theaters they can’t show the World Series

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer waited his turn to take batting practice before Game Two of the World Series on Wednesday, at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer waited his turn to take batting practice before Game Two of the World Series on Wednesday, at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Star

Several big-screen watch parties hit a wall this week. Permission not granted, said Fox Broadcasting and Major League Baseball.

Screenland Armour has shown all the postseason games for free through Wednesday but won’t tonight, and unless something changes, for the rest of the World Series.

Screenland’s Adam Roberts said he heard from MLB on Tuesday, World Series Game 1, about its objection to the use of copyrighted material. Roberts agreed to avoid MLB logos and such, and he thought all was fine.

Then he heard from Fox Broadcasting on Wednesday during Game 2 that he wasn’t to air the games.

“It boiled down to ‘You can’t show the games without our permission,’” Roberts said, which Fox wasn’t granting.

But Roberts and other theater operators believe they should be allowed to show the games for free through their commercial cable television agreements, the same as bars and restaurants.

“It’s frustrating because we can’t get an actual response as to why,” Roberts said. “This has been cool for people, like a rally environment, to see the games.”

Cinetopia in Overland Park told patrons on its Facebook page today that “the legal department at the network has insisted we not broadcast the game.”

The theater also said earlier in this week that it thought a free watch party was OK through its commercial cable television restaurant and bar license.

It’s not a theater, but for now the best giant-screen option seems to be the KC Live block in the Power & Light District, which received permission to show the games, said spokesman Rachel Waller. The event starts at 5 p.m.

Roberts said to stay tuned. If he can talk to Fox and cable operator Time Warner, maybe something can be worked out.

“It’s baffling,” he said.

To reach Edward M. Eveld, call 816-234-4442 or send email to eeveld@kcstar.com. On Twitter @eeveld.

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