As previously reported by the Inquisitr, last week the Wall Street Journal revealed that the National Football League was basically shaking down the music industry by asking for a “financial contribution” to play the coveted halftime slot at the Super Bowl.
The report stated that the NFL had narrowed its list of possible performers for this year’s Super Bowl performance to Coldplay, Rihanna and Katy Perry. When the performers were told they were among the final three choices, they were also told that they could agree to give a percentage of their ensuing tour profits to the NFL, or give an upfront “financial contribution” to the league in order to secure their position.
After this news broke, the music industry has been predictably vocal as to its answer.
According to Rolling Stone, one of music’s biggest agents, Dennis Arfa, who represents such acts as Metallica, Billy Joel and RUSH, said about the Super Bowl heist:
“Halftime’s for sale. If I was a young band, and I had a billionaire backer, I’d buy my way to the Super Bowl – everybody would know me after the Super Bowl. Is Paul McCartney going to pay? I doubt it.”
The NFL’s “pay to play” shenanigans are clearly in response to the wild amount of money some stars have raked in after their appearances on the Super Bowl halftime show – and the Not For Profit National Football League wants to get their hands on some of that money.
Last year after appearing on the Super Bowl, Bruno Mars launched a worldwide tour that garnered over $43 million. Beyonce’s tour after her appearance on the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show netted her over $180 million.
David T. Viecelli, who represents such acts as Arcade Fire, St. Vincent and Mumford & Sons, said of the Super Bowl halftime show:
“Obviously it’s a marketing boon to play halftime for the Super Bowl. But I hope that everyone tells them to get stuffed.”
The real question is, is the NFL giving performers the boon by allowing them to perform on the Super Bowl halftime show, or does the Super Bowl get such high ratings in part because of the halftime show’s amazing performers?
Troy Carter, the manager of John Legend, John Mayer and Meghan Trainor thinks it might be the latter.
“I’m not sure what artist in their right mind would give up a piece of their touring or ancillary sales to play the Super Bowl. If the NFL wants to charge artists to perform, I would just counter-program with another network and create our own halftime show. Let’s say you put Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Meghan Trainor on one show during halftime – I’d be willing to bet you’re going to get a pretty big audience.”
The NFL reportedly grossed over $9 billion dollars last year in ticket sales alone, and they don’t pay federal taxes… and now they want to charge musical acts to play at the Super Bowl…
Does that make sense to you?