clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL wants artists to pay to perform at Super Bowl halftime show

New, 95 comments

Musicians typically don't get paid for playing at the NFL's Super Bowl halftime show. Having 115.3 million people watch your performance is payment enough, really. But this year the NFL is using the big game's unrivaled power of exposure to its advantage — or at least trying to, according to The Wall Street Journal. The league has apparently whittled its list of potential acts down to three: Coldplay, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. (Sorry, Weird Al fans.) But when approaching representatives for each artist with the good news, the NFL reportedly made an unprecedented request. It's asked three of pop music's most popular performers whether they'd "willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution" to headline the 2015 halftime show.

Pay to (Cold)play

Whichever act agrees to hand over cash would presumably have better odds of being chosen. But unfortunately for the NFL, it seems the pay-to-play plan may be backfiring. Rihanna, Perry, and Coldplay have all come back with a "chilly reception" to the idea, according to the Journal. Music sales are dipping, but these are three acts that can endure the trend; they still top the Billboard charts with every new release and sell out concerts more often than not. For example, Coldplay's Ghost Stories sold 383,000 copies in its first week of release (245,000 of those were downloads), the biggest opening week since Beyoncé's self-titled album took iTunes by storm late last year. Katy Perry's Prism sold 286,000 copies in its first week.

Rihanna may have the most to gain from snagging the prized halftime spot; she's currently recording her eighth studio album, her first since 2012's Unapologetic. A well-timed release coinciding with the Super Bowl could mean huge sales, though it's impossible to truly calculate what the halftime show does for album buys and ticket sales. Apparently the three leading candidates don't think it's a boost worth paying for — even if more people tune in to see the spectacle of halftime than the game itself.


Remember when the Super Bowl invaded New York City last February