The NFL still isn’t ready to announce anything. “No decisions have been made on the performer(s) and we are not going to speculate on particular artists,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Washington Post, reiterating the league’s previous statement. “Along with Pepsi, we know that we will put on a spectacular show. When it is time to announce her name we will do it. Or his name. Or their names.”
Because putting on the show is so labor intensive, it takes months to prepare, which means that late September is when reports begin to surface about possible performers, with the NFL gauging reaction before officially committing.
In the February 2004 game, Timberlake ripped off a piece of Jackson’s costume, exposing her right breast. CBS quickly issued a statement, The Post reported the next day, saying: “The moment did not conform to CBS broadcast standards, and we’d like to apologize to anyone who was offended.” Joe Browne, at the time the NFL’s executive vice president, said that MTV, which produced the halftime show, was “unlikely” to do so again. The expressions “wardrobe malfunction” and “nipplegate” came into common usage after that snafu, for which the Federal Communications Commission fined CBS Corp. $550,000. However, a federal appeals court threw that out.