Will Katy Perry 'Pay To Play' At Super Bowl XLIX?
Katy Perry officially beat out Rihanna and Coldplay, signing on to perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. So, the question now is not who will be paying, but will Katy be paying to play?
Rumors and reports have been circulating that performers will now be asked to pay for the right to play during the show with a "financial contribution" to the NFL, given how much positive exposure it can bring; This year's Super Bowl saw a record 115.3 million viewers tune in to check out Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while 112.2 million people watched the actual game.
Two weeks ago in her appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay, Perry seemingly gave her answer: "We have had some conversations, and I would be honored, of course. But I have let them know that I'm not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl. The ball is in their field."
Perry’s sentiment has been pretty much universally agreed with. In a Rolling Stone interview back in August , David T. Viecelli, the agent for Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and St. Vincent, told the magazine, "Obviously it is a marketing boon to play halftime for the Super Bow. But I hope that everybody tell them to go get stuffed." Likewise, The Wall Street Journal has reported sources have said the proposition has received a "a chilly response from the candidates’ representatives."
Strong Arm Tactics
Typically, performers are not paid to perform, but their travel and production costs (which reach into the realm of seven figures) are generally covered by the NFL.
Mitch Goldstone, President and CEO of photo preservation site ScanMyPhotos.com, and self-professed huge fan of live musicians, told Benzinga about Katy Perry: "I believe she will be paid and not participate in strong arm negotiating tactics by the NFL. An artist worth being seen by the whole world should not have to pay, and they don't need the exposure. Fans like me will see her perform before and after the game because she’s talented and entertaining."
Goldstone said that he saw Bruno Mars play after this year’s Super Bowl, paying $1,000 for second row tickets, not because he played the halftime show, but because of his talent as a musician and performer.
Goldstone also made the case that the work that goes into staging and preparing a halftime show is immense.
"The artists work hard, for months planning for a few minute event and take great risks, if there is a ‘malfunction’ the whole world is watching and their career is at risk. Rather than a pay-for-play pricing model, artists are deserving of millions," he said.
Given the opinions of fans like Goldstone, the representatives of the artists considered for the show, and of the performer herself, Katy Perry just might not be paying anything to play this year's Super Bowl halftime.
Smart By The NFL?
John Drabkowski of ConcertFix, however, sees the situation differently. As he told Benzinga, "The NFL is making a smart financial decision on their end by making performers pay for halftime show publicity. As the most-watched TV program in U.S. history last year, it remains one of the largest promotional campaigns for popular artists. The NFL finally saw this as a potential revenue source."
The NFL may also have some leverage here.
"Although Katy Perry has publicly stated her displeasure towards paying the NFL for the halftime show, I'm sure she will still be heavily involved in these 'financial contribution' negotiations," Drawkowski said. "Since Coldplay and Rihanna were also asked to perform by the NFL, the negotiations will like turn into a bidding war between these performers."
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