This is not satire. This is #truth. According to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL is asking the three finalists for the Super Bowl Halftime Show to pony up some ca$h for the privilege of doing what they do for a living. From the article:
The NFL has narrowed down the list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay, these people said. 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.
In other words, not only does the NFL not want to pay musicians for services rendered, it wants musicians to pay them for rendering said services. By this, the NFL is saying the halftime show is free advertising for the performers and it’s doing them a favor by giving them such a big stage.
But here’s the thing: the halftime performance isn’t just a giant commercial. The musicians are providing entertainment at what has become the most-profitable annual television event on the planet. Those profits go to the NFL. You know who else is providing entertainment at this event? The players. Is the NFL also going to ask the players to donate their services? But come on, Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning, think of all the promotional opportunities that could come out of this.
Dear NFL, pay the musicians. You have annual revenues of nearly $10 billion, with aspirations to reach $25 billion. Pay the musicians. Without musical entertainment during halftime of the Super Bowl, what would you put in its place? 15 minutes of commercials? No one would watch. Original television programming? That costs money to produce. Pay the musicians.
Yes, the platform of Super Bowl Halftime Show is huge. Millions of people will tune in and millions may also purchase recordings or concert tickets afterwards. But it is the musical, theatrical, and (yes, even) artistic prowess of the musicians in performance that compels people support an artist with their dollars–not the fact that the NFL provided them with a big stage.
The NFL is greedily trying to profit from the success of others. It is shameful. I hope each of the musical acts being considered for this year’s halftime show remain vehement in their opposition to this sort of workplace exploitation.