Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Super Bowl Halftime Show, Pay to Play?

According to this latest FORBES story the NFL is considering making the Super Bowl Half Time show a pay to play deal, according to the article it will not work. So far the NFL has brought this deal to Coldplay, Rihanna and Katy Perry and they are not biting and you can't blame them. Currently the HF show is a free deal, artist usually take the gig because it gives them an album sales boost due to increased exposure. Bruno Mars saw a Unorthodox Jukebox shoot from No. 7 to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 as sales soared 92% to 81,000 in the week after last year’s Super Bowl performance. 

This move could be another set of cracks in the NFL Shield besides the concussion issue. While the other is caused by brain damage from playing the sport,  these fractures are caused be something unrelated to football; changes in the music industry. The ripples from these changes are now affecting other forms of entertainment as well. The internet and illegal downloading means that artists must now make their BANK solely on tours. A free show at the Super Bowl cuts into their tour schedule and their earnings. As a culture institution the Super Bowl HF show might be seeing the erosion of it's relevancy as a powerful marketing force for big name acts.This pay to play system could cause the entire show to slide into oblivion, as the only acts that are willing to basically pay 2 million (for what is basically a live commercial) are more lesser known up and coming acts who need the extra media exposure. Then again why do that when a twitter feed can do it for free and might reach even more people, because lesser acts who can use the extra awareness cannot afford to plop down 2 million for a show. This is why as of right now, we will never see Taylor Swift do the show, one she does not need the increased publicity nor does she want to do a show for free let alone pay for it, it will cost her money and in the end not help her.

But with more and more artists are not biting the BIG name acts that people want to see, The event that Michael Jackson made into a marquee attraction 1993 the HF show might go back to the dark days when all the NFL could get was the creepy cult like Up With People. Many viewers tune into the big game for the HF show and the commercials, if the NFL cannot get the A list talent, then they tune out and loss of advertising revenue follows with it.

Also an issue is what if an act does pay for the spot and they decide they can do what they want since they paid for it. Lets say in the 2016 Super Bowl Kayne West gets the bid and then decides He "owns" it either does an act of total lewdness that make nipplegate look tame, or uses it instead to entertain but to spout some crazy tirade about some cause or issue that has gotten under his skin. The negative media attention will be horrendous, for a league that is already being hammered over issues of player safety. The NFL hates negative attention and so far this plan is getting very negative reception, so hopefully the NFL will scrap this idea quickly.

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