The National Football League is changing the rules for musicians who perform during the halftime show at the Super Bowl, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
“In a twist this year, the league has asked artists under consideration for the high-profile gig to pay to play, according to people familiar with the matter,” the story reports. “The NFL has narrowed down the list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay, these people said. While notifying the artists’ camps of their candidacy, league representatives also asked at least some of the acts if they would be 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, in exchange for the halftime gig.”
Joanna Hunter, a spokeswoman for the NFL, wasn’t shedding any light, saying the league’s contracts with the performers are confidential and adding that the NFL’s goal is “to put on the best possible show.” On the subject of who would be performing, Hunter said, “When we have something to announce, we’ll announce it.”
The big game is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015, near Phoenix.
“It’s unclear how much money the NFL was seeking, and whether it would likely have amounted to more or less than the extra income the chosen performer might stand to generate from the exposure. No decision has been made yet and it is possible another act could be selected,” The WSJ report notes.
Citing its inside sources, the article adds that the pay-to-play suggestion has not been well-received by reps for the artists.
The report notes: “The Super Bowl halftime show, which this year featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars, drew a record 115.3 million viewers in February, according to the NFL, more than the game itself. The entire event averaged 112.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.”