It is never too early to plan the Super Bowl halftime show, and this year it looks like the NFL brass has already marked superstars Katy Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay as their top choices to perform at the big game. However, there is one catch: the NFL now wants the artists to pay the league for the right to secure the gig.
Apparently league representatives reached out to some acts to see if they would go for an exchange wherein the musicians would gain a headlining halftime slot for a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour earnings. They could also make some other type of financial contribution to the league, but no specifics are available at this time.
This move would be unprecedented by the NFL as the league normally only covers travel and production expenses that can add up to millions of dollars. Considering how popular the halftime show is, it makes perfect sense that the league would want more of a piece of the pie. This year's performance by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers drew in over 115 million viewers, up by over three million from the previous year.
The Wall Street Journal adds that the halftime show "has always been among the most valuable promotional opportunities for the music industry, and in recent years some performers have put tickets for their tours on sale immediately following their appearance on the field, to capitalize on the exposure."
The halftime artists do use the big show to try and catch lightning in a bottle as shown in the past. Beyonce announced her "Mrs. Carter Show" world tour right after her halftime performance in 2013, and Mars' "Moonshine Jungle" tour tickets went on sale the Monday after the Super Bowl spot.
Whatever happens, it sounds like it is going to be the swift hand of the NFL juggernaut that will make the decisions for their biggest show. The stranglehold the NFL has on all of their entities is all-encompassing, and it may wind up having artists begging to perform at halftime. With the added publicity this show gives artists, and with album sales down across the board, it's only logical that record labels and performers will still be willing to do the show, payment or not.