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Pay to Play? NFL Asks Rihanna, Coldplay and Katy Perry How Much They Really Want to Perform at Super Bowl

The sports giant has asked potential performers for the upcoming Super Bowl to make a financial contribution.

August 20, 2014

With the exception of the big game itself, the biggest attraction to the Super Bowl is its half-time show, which over the years has seen highballers like Madonna, Beyonce and most recently Bruno Mars take the field. Generally, the NFL doesn't pay acts to play the Super Bowl other than expenses however that may change for upcoming Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st next year in Phoenix—and not in a way you might at first think. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to sources, the league asked possible half-time candidates Rihanna, Coldplay and Katy Perry if they would pay to play at America's biggest sporting event. According to the sources, this request was met lukewarmly by reps of the artists. No details were offered on how much the NFL was asking these artists to stump up. 

According to the league, the half-time show featuring Mars and the Red Head Hot Chili Peppers this past February drew 115.3 million viewers. Undoubtedly, playing the Super Bowl provides tremendous exposure for the performing artists and usually gives their music a rise in sales after the event. But this latest development raises the question of how much artists are willing to pay to get attention, including up-and-coming musicians—an issue recently brought up by The FADER's Emilie Friedlander about compensating journalists to write about certain artists. That said, the NFL should at least be credited for reaching out to Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay following a period of older artists booked to keep things family in the aftermath of the Janet Jackson 'nipplegate' fiasco at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

Photo of Beyoncé performing at the Super Bowl by Au Kirk via Wikimedia Commons.

Pay to Play? NFL Asks Rihanna, Coldplay and Katy Perry How Much They Really Want to Perform at Super Bowl