Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TELL ME YOUR SECRETS AND ASK ME YOUR QUESTIONS:  The WSJ is reporting that Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay are the three finalists to play the Super Bowl halftime show, but there's a twist:
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 pay-to-play suggestion got a chilly reception from the candidates' representatives, these people said.... The NFL typically covers the halftime performers' travel and production expenses, which can run well into the millions.


  1. A Coldplay halftime show would be pretty painful, methinks.

  2. Roger4:42 PM

    Who has this year's game? I suppose Fox wouldn't want to offend the NFL, but it would be awesome if they resurrected their alternative halftime show to counterprogram Coldplay.

  3. Adam B.4:57 PM

    NBC has the game; it's being played in Glendale, AZ. And when Fox did the In Living Color counterprogramming, it was still about a year-and-a-half before it won the NFC broadcast rights.

  4. NBC having the game also makes it far less likely that USA/WWE (another potential suspect) would try and counterprogram halftime.

  5. Adam B.5:07 PM

    They don't nearly have the juice they once did -- and they only tried that once. WWE's priority remains subscriptions to the Network.

  6. The Pathetic Earthling8:10 PM

    Roger Goddell wants his share of a nickel plucked from a urinal at Ralph Wilson stadium. I admire that, after a fashion.

  7. Joseph Finn10:13 PM

    Start planning your halftime movie viewing!

  8. Adam C.9:29 AM

    Probably could fit an entire hourlong episode of something, stripped of commercials.

  9. "Pay-to-play" is a term musicians use for gigs that require them to secure money for an opening slot. I played a gig January 1st of this year opening for Rusted Root in NYC, where I was required to sell 30 tickets at full price, with none of the money coming back my way, in order to open. These guys are friends of mine, but they actually didn't have a choice because they'd signed over the rights to support to the venue.

    The idea behind "pay-to-play" is that you, the artist, have less to offer the venue than it has to offer you. Your name usually doesn't go on the marquee, because there's no point to it. This gig is for exposure, to put you in front of more eyeballs than you normally are.

    Looking at the numbers in this article, a 3M uptick in viewership from 125M for the half-time show doesn't say a lot about the bands' draw — and just about every Super Bowl party/bar I've been to ends up muting the television and taking the smoke breaks during the halftime show. I missed the wardrobe malfunction because of this practice, and I only got to see the Black-Eyed Peas on mute, which was actually pretty great. Nobody muted Prince, though: NOBODY MUTES PRINCE. Still, all of those muted and abandoned sets register as viewers, so it's very difficult to gauge whether the 3M is an addition to the number or just 3M joining the party while 100M do the beer run.

    That said, the NFL is out of line. Their practice of not paying their artists was gross enough — to charge them outright is ridiculous. This is not some benefit show — this is arguably the largest-scale event of the year, a cash cow for a company whose whole product line is already cash cows.


  10. bill.1:09 PM

    The reason the NFL should pay the performers is protection for their advertisers. Don't give the viewers a reason to flip the channel until the 3rd quarter starts.

  11. Some Farkers think that this is a trick to get somebody to start up a kickstarter for Weird Al to pay his "entry fee".