The NFL has narrowed its list of potential music acts for the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show to three, but there is a catch: The league has reportedly requested that the artists pay for the right to perform at the event. The new policy applies to at least one of the three candidates: Rihanna, Coldplay and Katy Perry, sources familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal. NFL representatives reportedly asked the musicians either to pay a fee to perform at Super Bowl XLIX or to offer part of the proceeds from their post-Super Bowl tours to the league—a request that was met with a lukewarm response.
In the past, musicians played the halftime show for free, relying on the publicity generated by their high-profile performances rather than financial compensation. In addition, the NFL usually covers its halftime performers' expenses for the event.
The sources did not reveal how much money the NFL is seeking from the potential acts. League spokeswoman Joanna Hunter told the Wall Street Journal that the NFL only wants to “put on the best possible show.” Any agreements between the NFL and a performer would likely be confidential.
The NFL has yet to reach an agreement with any of the three acts, nor has it ruled out the possibility that a different act could ultimately be chosen. “When we have something to announce, we’ll announce it,” Hunter said.
The Super Bowl halftime show generated a record audience last February. A performance by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers drew 115.3 million viewers, which surpassed the audience for the game itself. In all, Super Bowl XLVIII was the most-watched program in the history of U.S. television, the Hollywood Reporter noted.
Super Bowl XLIX will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 1, 2015.