Pay To Play: NFL Shakes Down Artists Who Want To Perform For Free At Superbowl

196px-National_Football_League_2008.svgAvariceI have said it before but I will say it again. The The National Football League (NFL) remains one of the most greedy and thuggish organizations in the country in dealing with host cities, artists, and citizens. The fact that it has been allowed to retain not-for-profit status is a grotesque triumph of money and lobbying in our country. Now, as proof that the NFL has lost any sense of shame, it is asking artists who want to play at the Superbowl to not simply play for free but to actually pay to play.

Just as a reminder, the half-time shows draw a large audience than does the actual game — pulling in massive revenues for advertisers and by extension the NFL in media contracts. The last Super Bowl halftime show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruno Mars drew a record 115.3 million viewers while the entire event averaged 112.2 million viewers.

This year’s three candidates are Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. However, the NFL is trying to shake down the artists and it is not clear if the artists will dispense with any sense of dignity or fairness and actually pay to play. The image of NFL officials (who demand limos, luxury suites, and golf courses from host cities) demanding payment to pay at the game set a new low for the NFL. However, none of this matters. The NFL appears immune from fans or Congress or decency.

There are few bigger football fans around, but something needs to be done with this organization. Once again, it is time to strip the NFL of its not-for-profit status.

I leave you with a famous clip that could have been a hearing on the NFL and its leadership:

Source: WSJ

22 thoughts on “Pay To Play: NFL Shakes Down Artists Who Want To Perform For Free At Superbowl”

    1. ModernMiner – I am hoping for a great season but who knows. I am not a fan of the new Fear the Fork campaign. I am an old-school Sparky fan and have complained to the Alumni office about his removal from the side of the helmet to a minor position on the back of the helmet. Also not a fan of all the new uniform options. The school colors are maroon-and-gold. White and black are not in the color palette.

  1. Can we please have a a talented act for one year instead of the normal teen crap? A large segment of the population don’t listen to this garbage. My suggestion would be Carrie Underwood or Adele!

    1. Trish – how about the first act from a Wagnarian opera for half-time. Something with class. Actually, they are trying to draw younger viewers to build a fresh audience. Have to keep the coffers full.

  2. Paul – That’s what TiVo is for. I watch only the game plays, with a 30 second skip between each, and that takes approximately 60 minutes. However, this does not work well when Peyton Manning is playing. The entertainment industry should boycott the Super Bowl.

    1. Charlie – I record the ASU games. I generally watch only college football, which is a lot faster. I only skip through the commercials, which have gotten more frequent since the PAC-12 has its own network.

  3. Good one Paul…4 hours to play, 4 minutes of ball in motion! I think its 12 minutes in motion, Paul, but the 4 hours is right on!

  4. NFL flags are so overpriced, I could sell 200 Rebel & Don’t Tread On Me flags before one NFL. (even wholesale NFL has about 20X mark up)

    1. Bill mcwilliams – as I said before, Arizona does not have a professional football team.

  5. I don’t follow professional football. We don’t have a professional football team in Arizona. I follow college football which has its own control-freak problems.

  6. leejcaroll
    (And why they keep their tax exempt status…I guess it is the church of football?

    Come to Wisconsin and visit the Church of the Holy Lombardi Seplechur. Then you’ll understand.

  7. I agree that it’s time for the NFL to start paying taxes. Performers for the half time show should be getting big bucks for the gig. NFL teams should be refurbishing their stadiums on their own dime, not using taxpayer funds. They should also be paying property taxes.

  8. Wow Whne I heard this thought was greedy and piggish and that was before I knew they didn’t even pay the performers.
    (And why they keep their tax exempt status…I guess it is the church of football(?) )

  9. The best half time show was done by In Living Color live when the official half time show came on. I am STILL laughing.

  10. Red Hot Chili Peppers drew a record 115.3 million viewers while the entire event averaged 112.2 million viewers, and no one liked it!

  11. What is so exciting about a game that takes 4 hours clock time to play but the ball is in motion about 4 minutes?

  12. Too bad Miley Cyrus wasn ‘t one of the artists or we could be making Right To Twerk puns. Anyway, I don ‘t watch the half time show anymore during the Super Bowl. Too many lip syncs, fireworks, and dancing freaks.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  13. I wouild hope than any of those artists realize they can get just as big an audience by selling a concert to HBO and not having to pay for a walk on role in the Superbowl.

    Besides, Weird Al should be playing the halftime this year. He’s got the perfect new songs to play.

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