According to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL has asked its final three contenders for the show — Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Rihanna — to consider paying the league, perhaps by contributing some of their post-event earnings, to the right lip-sync to their songs while most of us are in the kitchen restocking party platters.
The league had never done this before, and the Journal reports that the response from the artists’ representatives was probably not what they had hoped to hear.
The Super Bowl has a mammoth audience, reaching more than 100 million viewers in the U.S., and performing at halftime can result in a boost to ticket and retail sales for artists. So the NFL apparently assumed that it could squeeze a little payola from the potential acts.
Since the league already only carries half the cost of staging the halftime show, the performers or their promoters are already going out of pocket to some degree. It’s going to be hard to find a major, established act willing to risk spending even more money in the hopes that the uptick in sales after the game will even out.