Most of us already know that the National Football League is the most popular and profitable sports entity in the United States — by a wide margin. NFL prime-time TV games are regularly the highest-rated shows of the week. Advertising, sponsorship, and licensing contracts with the NFL amount to billions of dollars a year. Super Bowl ads cost well over $4 million per 30 seconds. The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers  attracted more than 115 million viewers.

The author of this blog has frequently gotten into debates with friends who cannot believe that artists such as BeyoncĂ©, the Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney have not been paid for performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. But it’s always been true. In the past, the NFL has contributed to the expenses associated with putting on the halftime show.

Now, according to the Wall Street, the ever-audacious NFL may be going even further in its revenue quest. As Rachel Feintzeig and Joann S. Lublin report:

“The National Football League doesn’t usually pay the act that performs at halftime during the Super Bowl. But 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 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.”

“The show has always been among the most valuable promotional opportunities for the music industry, and in recent years, some performers have put tickets for their tours on sale immediately following their appearance on the field, to capitalize on the exposure. BeyoncĂ© announced her ‘Mrs. Carter Show’ tour immediately following her halftime performance in 2013, for example, and the world tour grossed more than any other that year besides Bon Jovi’s, according to trade publication Pollstar. Bruno Mars also put tickets to his ‘Moonshine Jungle’ tour on sale the Monday after the game this year.”

The Wall Street Journal image below has some interesting data.

 

Source: Nielsen. Image by Wall Street Journal

 

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