The NFL has changed its Superbowl business model, asking halftime musical performers to pay for the privilege to play. It's not the first time the "No Fun League" has made a bad business decision. True, the NFL has made numerous beneficial decisions, but really its success is predicated on having a great product. So why is asking performers to pay to play a bad idea? It's based on a bad premise.
The NFL provides a platform to a performer to reach a billion plus viewers, and there is certainly value in that. So why not capitalize on the value and ask performers a fee to play? Firstly, it's really hard to argue that the NFL does not also benefit tremendously from a half time show that can attract new demographics to watch the game. New viewers, increased potential for advertising revenue and simply a more memorable event (i.e. buzz - remember the wardrobe malfunction?), add up to real incremental value for the NFL.
The NFL decision seems to be premised on the notion that every transaction must be a zero-sum game. No one benefits except at the expense of another. But great halftime acts provide a mutually beneficial relationship. Trying to squeeze performers comes off as petty.
If I were Coldplay or any other potential halftime act for this year or in the future, I would most certainly boycott playing the NFL halftime show. One year of no high profile performer would certainly change the NFL's tune.