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Could Rihanna, Katy Perry or Coldplay have to pay to play Super Bowl XLIX halftime show?

Bruno Mars headlined the Super Bowl XLVIII show. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

The short list of performers for the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIX reportedly consists of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay, but there’s an interesting wrinkle to the talk surrounding this year’s extravaganza.

The NFL is asking artists to pay it to play, the Wall Street Journal reports. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the league, in notifying acts, “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,” Hannah Karp writes.

The suggestion was met with what the Journal described as a chilly reception and an NFL spokeswoman cited the confidentiality of contracts with performers. While artists are not paid for their services, the NFL does cover their travel and production expenses and sells sponsorship of the show (to Pepsi). But paying for anything, let alone putting on a show would be an interesting concept for a superstar.

Typically, the benefits come from a Super Bowl bump in music sales or from the coincidental announcement of tour dates (as with Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter tour in 2013). Last year’s show, which featured Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers drew a record 115.3 million viewers, the NFL says. That, the WSJ notes, is “more than double the size of the audience for the Academy Awards this year, more than triple the audience for this year’s Grammy Awards and more than 11 times the size of MTV’s most recent Video Music Awards.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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