Report: NFL wants Super Bowl halftime acts to pay for the privilege of 'exposure'

The NFL doesn't pay musical acts to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, and it's not hard to see why: with a worldwide audience numbering in the nine figures, halftime acts enjoy an almost immediate bump in sales and touring revenue.

Now, at last, the NFL is apparently going in the complete opposite direction, asking musical acts to pay for the privilege of playing the halftime show.

Per a new Wall Street Journal report, the NFL has apparently narrowed the list of potential halftime performers to three: Coldplay, Katy Perry and Rihanna. From there, negotiations are getting a little sticky, according to the WSJ: "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."

How much is the Super Bowl halftime show worth to performers? Last year, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were onstage for about 12 minutes. With commercial time valued at $4 million per 30-second slot, that's nearly $100 million worth of publicity for a band.

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Still, coming to the performers with hand extended would be a fairly bold approach on the NFL's part, especially the "post-Super Bowl tour income" idea. (It's also worth noting that the NFL will do pretty much anything to avoid another incident like Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction and M.I.A.'s bird-flip. This is another way of ensuring everybody stays within the lines.)

Of course, the pay-to-play approach opens up another avenue of possibility: The NFL didn't specify exactly where this money had to come from. Who's up for a crowdsourced effort to get the 1985 Chicago Bears Shuffle Crew back together?

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or find him on Facebook or on Twitter.