Super Bowl half time shows have become just as important as the game themselves.
But now a few high profile acts are being asked to pay up in order for the honor of performing in front of a live national audience. For the 2015 Super Bowl, the NFL has selected three potential performers – Rihanna, Katy Perry and Cold Play. But along with the offer to perform becomes a caveat from the NFL – a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income needs to go back to the football league.
Pay-to-play isn’t very popular. The request didn’t go out to everyone, but the pay-to-play suggestion was frowned upon by the acts that were asked. According to NFL spokeswoman Joanna Hunter, the leagues contracts are confidential and the only goal was to “put on the best possible show.” At this time, there is no confirmed act for the 2015 Super Bowl, which is scheduled to be played outside of Phoenix on February 1.
As for the pay-to-play offer, it’s unclear how much money the NFL wanted for the offer. The offer may be made to other acts not on the short list, and no decision has been made. From the NFL’s point of view, the Super Bowl performance offers exposure for acts that can lead to more ticket sales – which is where the acts can see increased profits.
Last Super Bowl drew in lots of viewers. The last Super Bowl, featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars, drew in a record 115.3 million viewers in February of 2013 – more than double the size of the audience of the Academy awards and triple the size of the audience for the Grammy Awards.
The Super Bowl halftime show has been a valuable promotional opportunity for music industry acts, and several bands and performers have put tickets on for sale shortly after their Super Bowl appearances. From the NFL’s perspective, this is free advertising that needs to be paid for.