The NFL Is Asking Artists To Pay to Perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

The league thinks the spot is so valuable that international superstars will pay to take the stage.

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The Super Bowl halftime show is a coveted gig, but are artists willing to pay to play? According to The Wall Street Journal that's exactly what the National Football League is hoping, as they asked three finalists under consideration for this year's halftime show to make a "financial contribution" to the league in exchange for the slot.

And the response from Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay have been... not great. After all, it's not everyday that international pop stars who can usually charge hundreds of thousands or more for a single appearance are asked to shell out their own money to perform at someone else's event.

While the NFL doesn't pay artists to perform at the halftime show it typically covers travel and performance expenses, which can often run in the millions.

And although breaking even for an appearance isn't normal for most mega stars, they usually take a pay cut to perform for the Super Bowl's over 100 million viewers. (for reference only 12.9 million watched the finale of CBS's How I Met Your Mother).

In addition to the prestige and the exposure, Journal suggests that artists' concert and record sales get a boost from doing the 12-minute halftime show set. But despite the potential for a global audience, fans often remember the controversial and embarrassing moments (Janet Jackson, anyone?) more than the flawless performances.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.